Isak Douah of Minneapolis was inspired to become a community organizer after joining protests that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. After George Floyd’s murder in May 2020 at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, Douah returned from studying abroad and volunteered to help with security for George Floyd Square events.
The night of Juneteenth 2020, shots rang out on the square shattering the joyful celebration — gunfire that Douah ran towards. A friend had been shot trying to break up an altercation and died of his injuries as Douah and first responders tended his wounds.
Douah’s mom suggested therapy, as she had on other occasions, and this time, he acquiesced. That decision eventually led him down another avenue where he could have a positive impact in his community.
“After having that experience, I wanted everyone in my community to have access to a mental health professional the way I was able to,” he said. In concert with his father, they founded 846s.org, a nonprofit organization focused on mental healthcare access for Black youth.
“It’s been a tremendous journey,” Douah said. “I try to be as big of a mental health advocate as I can for my community.”
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