Monarch: Growing up in your household was this path expected of you?
ANGELA RYE: Perhaps it wasn’t expected, but it was definitely the way things were—we were expected to protect our family, our community—the people. I have parents who are advocates in their respective spaces. My mom is a retired college administrator. She was a vice president of a community college who served on affirmative action commissions and worked to ensure students from pre-K to college were best positioned with quality education opportunities. My dad, of course, is a community activist and works to fight on behalf of small businesses and opportunities for the disenfranchised to ensure they get their fair share of the pie or have the ability to make their own pies. In so many ways I think I just took the lessons from my parents, from the work they did in their day jobs and in their spare time, and applied it to my own life’s work and mission because, again, I don’t know of another way. This was the only way. Fighting for people who don’t have the ability to fight for themselves or speaking up for the voiceless was a way of life. It wasn’t anything exceptional.
MM: You see Maxine Waters as a mentor. What skills did she pass along to you which help you navigate the pressure cooker of politics?
AR: Well, I have to share my favorite of her more recent viral moments because she