Long before intersectionality was a thing, Jasmyne Cannick was known for being at the forefront nationally and locally in Los Angeles on issues relating to race, class, gender and sexuality.
Jasmyne Cannick is a nationally known writer and commentator on political, race and social issues. She was selected as one of ESSENCE Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World, one of the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Angeles Under 40, one of Los Angeles’ Most Fascinating Angelenos by the L.A. Weekly and most recently one of 40 People Under 40 by the Advocate. She’s worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and at all levels of government helping to shape public opinion and encourage civic engagement while advocating for underrepresented and marginalized communities in the political arena.
She is the co-founder of My Hood Votes along with Compton rapper Eric “Eazy-E” Wright’s son Lil E, a voter registration initiative focused on Los Angeles County’s roughest neighborhoods. Jasmyne is a proud co-founder of the the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest and oldest Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. She is a past co-chair of the National Stonewall Democrats Black Caucus.
On-Air & In Print
As a social critic, she has won numerous awards for her writings and is a frequent cable television news on-air contributor. Jasmyne’s writings and commentary have been featured in newspapers from coast to coast including the award-winning Los Angeles Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Advocate, Lesbian News (LN), and Ebony Magazine to name a few.
No stranger to radio, she is a former co-anchor and reporter for the Evening News on Los Angeles Pacifica radio station 90.7FM KPFK. Jasmyne has been a regular commentator on NPR including the now defunct News and Notes shows. She’s worked as a segment producer on KJLH-FM’s Front Page show and continues to be a regular contributor to Southern California’s premiere news and current affairs show focused on the African-American community.
As a public affairs and communications strategist, Jasmyne has worked on numerous local, state and federal candidate and ballot measure campaigns in California. She previously worked in the House of Representatives and the California State Assembly as a Press Secretary.
As an out Black lesbian, Jasmyne has served on the boards of numerous local and national organizations. She is a proud co-founder of the the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest and oldest Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. She is a past co-chair of the National Stonewall Democrats Black Caucus. She is known for taking on and addressing the racism in the white gay community as it relates to the African-American community. Her credits also include being a producer of “Noah’s Arc,” the first African-American LGBT television series (Logo TV).
Through her writing and media appearances Jasmyne is known for being highly critical of the Los Angeles Police Department and its Chief Charlie Beck.
She raised questions about LAPD’s purchase of a $6,000 quarterhorse from Chief Charlie Beck’s daughter, an LAPD officer, and about Beck’s alleged soft treatment of a sergeant who reportedly was dating her.
Jasmyne broke news that famed LAPD Det. Frank Lyga had been recorded telling a class of fellow law- enforcement officers that when he looked back at his 1997 shooting of black cop Kevin Gaines, “I could have killed a whole truckload of them … and would have been happily doing it.” Lyga was working undercover that fateful day nearly 20 years ago, and Gaines was off-duty, when the two men became entangled in a deadly road-rage incident in North Hollywood. Lyga’s fatal shooting of Gaines was determined by LAPD to have been justified. But it pulled at an ugly thread that led to the department’s darkest hour, the Rampart scandal. Lyga subsequently left the LAPD in disgrace.
Later Jasmyne broke the story of how a former “shot caller” for the Mexican Mafia was the featured speaker at a book signing event in downtown Los Angeles that was arranged by the LAPD with taxpayer dollars for a private group of prominent business leaders and local law enforcement officials.
She has cultivated both a following and bevy of sources within the LAPD that has allowed her to break numerous stories of rampant corruption within the LAPD. Currently several officers and a commander are suing the City of Los Angeles after being accused by the department’s administration of being her source.
While Jasmyne is critical of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and his leadership team, she is less critical of the rank-and-file whom she says are often only following the bad orders of their command staff. She is known for starting all of her blog posts regarding the LAPD with:
We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).
The L.A. Weekly named her the LAPD’s Critic-in-Chief.
Film & Television Projects
Featured in Emmy magazine as an up and coming producer, she’s produced several films and television projects among them the documentary “41st and Central: The Untold Story of the Los Angeles Black Panthers” and “Noah’s Arc,” the first African-American LGBT television series (Logo TV).
Thanks to her good friend actor Isaiah Washington, the Pan African Film Festival, and African Ancestry, Jasmyne traced her African ancestry to the Bubi people in Bioko Island and the Tikar, Hausa, and Fulani peoples of Cameroon.
A SoCal native by way of Hermosa Beach and Compton, in her spare time Jasmyne enjoys hiking and tennis. She supports numerous causes and organizations that focus on an array of social issues including community policing, LGBT issues and homelessness.
She continues to be a popular speaker at colleges, universities, conferences, and events discussing the intersection of politics, race, LGBT issues and civil rights for the 21st century.