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Svante Myrick


Svante Myrick is the President of People For the American Way. 

He is one of the most dynamic young, progressive Black leaders today. Previously, he served as executive director of People For and led campaigns focused on transforming public safety, racial equity, voting rights, and empowering young elected officials. Myrick garnered national media attention as the youngest-ever mayor of Ithaca, New York, where he was a leading reformer on drug policy, the environment and public safety. 

Myrick’s personal story is compelling and laid the groundwork for his life of service and civic engagement. Raised by his mother, he and his family faced homelessness throughout their lives and relied on school lunch programs and other critical public services. After attending Cornell University, Myrick served as assistant director of student and young alumni programs at the college and tutored Ithaca youth. These experiences shaped his leadership in Ithaca, where he put progressive values into action to improve the lives of the people in his community. As mayor, Myrick’s innovative leadership included a plan to address the heroin epidemic through supervised injection sites, prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. 

Myrick previously served as director of People For’s youth leadership programs. He is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Frontier Award and People For the American Way Barbara Jordan Leadership Award, and was named by Rolling Stone as a “Hot Do-Gooder” “public servant to watch,” and in Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30.” Myrick has been interviewed by local and national TV, radio, and print outlets including CNN, USA Today, and The New York Times on issues such as progressive leadership, racial justice, and millennial civic engagement.

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