About Phillipe Cunningham
Phillipe Cunningham (pronounced fil-LEAP) was elected the City Councilmember to represent the 4th Ward in North Minneapolis on November 8, 2017. Raised in a union working class family in rural Illinois, Phillipe went on to become first generation college student, earning his BA in Chinese Studies and became a certified special education teacher. Philipe taught young people with autism and other more complex disabilities in Chicago Public Schools on Chicago’s southside. He was an active member of the teachers union. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Phillipe was a pro-bono advocate for low-income parents whose children were in need of special education services and/or facing unfair punishment in zero tolerance school discipline codes.
When Phillipe moved to North Minneapolis, he found home for the first time in his life. He found his heart and community in North Minneapolis. Having seen the influence policy has on people’s everyday lives, he felt a clear call to action to bring his ten years of youth work experience and policy knowledge to the table. He began organizing high school students to engage in the public policy process and be heard in our democratic process. Phillipe was a mayoral appointee to the City of Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Executive Committee. With an expertise in youth policy and youth development practices, Phillipe brought a fresh energy and perspective to the committee as a youth work professional. Mayor Hodges later appointed him to serve in her office as her Senior Policy Aide for education, youth success, racial equity and LBGTQ rights.
Phillipe brings valuable knowledge and expertise in youth development and racial equity policy. His work in the Mayor’s Office spanned K-12 public education, higher education, youth development, racial and transgender equity, and LGBTQ rights. During his tenure, he served as the primary coordinator for the local efforts of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and as the Chair for the City of Minneapolis Trans Issues Work Group.
Phillipe and his husband, Lane, live in the McKinley neighborhood with their four rescue pets. Phillipe volunteers at Youthlink as a co-facilitator of a support group for LGBTQ homeless youth. He is completing his Master’s Youth Development Leadership at UMN and remains a committed youth advocate in his new role as a City Councilmember.
Last updated Dec 29, 2017