About Marissa, Our Founder

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Marissa Jenae Johnson is a Seattle-based writer, entrepreneur, speaker, and organizer working at the intersections of politics, Blackness, womanhood, and Christianity. She has previously organized within the Black Lives Matter movement, and has been a consistent national voice on issues of Black liberation and allyship. Marissa controversially reached the national stage when she helped take over a Seattle rally for 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and has been pushing white liberals to be effective ever since.

Marissa was the co-creator and content director for Safety Pin Box, a subscription service for white people who want to be allies in the fight for Black liberation. Safety Pin Box’s core mission was to fund the radical work of Black women and femmes. 

As the sole content creator for most of Safety Pin Box’s products, including the Ally Backpack and SPB Kids, Marissa has continued her dedication to Black liberation in the creation and launch of The Phoenix Fighter.  As the driving force behind the political education of the brand, she both produces original content and helps bring the work of other Black women activists to a national stage.

In the past, Marissa has been compared to ISIS in a campaign ad tweeted by Donald Trump himself, and she also dragged rapper Killer Mike in a takedown that was covered by Complex Magazine. Her work stretches from the unconventional and controversial to the mundane, but her influence is felt by many. 

She's been featured on platforms such as MSNBC, Fox News, BBC, Vice News, The Daily Show, Daily Kos, Mic, and NY Mag, and her work has been talked about by nearly every major media outlet in the country. She recently did an interview on Allyship in the era of Trump with the Peabody-awarded Reveal Podcast from the Center for Investigative Reporting, which aired in March. 

In addition to being awarded by BlogHer and being named in Essence Magazine’s Woke 100 in 2017, Marissa was also named one of The Root’s 100 most influential African Amercicans for her activism.

Marissa’s book on allyship, So You Wanna Be An Ally?, published with Harper Perennial, comes out in January 2019.


Note: Marissa works with an amazing team of independent Black women business owners to deliver Phoenix Fighter services, and partners with other Black organizations and Black organizers on a variety of Phoenix Fighter projects. If you are looking to hire any of the vendors we work with, contact us through our contact page for a referral.