Deputy Director of Strategic Engagement

Mandela Barnes is the Deputy Director of Strategic Engagement at SiX. He most recently served in the Wisconsin State Assembly, where he was sworn into office in January of 2013. During his tenure in the legislature, Mandela authored bills that would protect voters from fraud, provide small businesses with tax relief, safeguard children’s health, enhance public safety, encourage responsible gun ownership, and ban employment discrimination – along with a number of other policies. He served from 2013-2016 on the Committees on Corrections, Education, Jobs & the Economy, and Small Business Development and was also chairman of the legislature’s Black and Latino Caucus. Prior to that, Mandela interned for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, eventually moving into the position of staff assistant. After leaving the mayor’s office, he began working with the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, and he eventually became the Lead Organizer and Director for Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH), a coalition of faith-based groups advocating for social justice in the greater Milwaukee community. Mandela, who graduated from Milwaukee’s John Marshall High School and attended Alabama A&M University, has worked with legislators across the country to provide national leadership on education policy and gun violence prevention. He is active in a number of organizations serving the Milwaukee area and has been recognized by NewDEAL as one of America’s top pro-growth progressive leaders. You can follow Mandela on Twitter at @TheOtherMandela.