Monica Trinidad is a queer, Latinx artist and organizer born and raised on the southeast side of Chicago.
In 2012, Monica co-founded Brown & Proud Press, a collective of people of color with the intent of sharing personal narratives of struggle through the medium of zines as a catalyst for collective healing and social change. A working group, Brown People for Black Power, also emerged from the group, leading conversations on challenging anti-Blackness within ourselves, our homes, and our Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and South Asian communities through workshops and zines.
Heavily involved in challenging police violence in Chicago, Monica was one of eight young organizers & activists of color who traveled to Geneva, Switzerland in 2014 to present a report on police violence in Chicago to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. As a delegation representing We Charge Genocide, a grassroots organization in Chicago, they staged a direct action inside the UN, calling attention to the murder of Dominique Franklin, a 23-year-old Black man tased to death by the Chicago Police Department. Because of We Charge Genocide’s delegation and direct action, the UN Committee Against Torture directly mentioned Chicago police violence against youth of color in their official observations, highlighting police violence in Chicago on an international level.
In 2016, Monica co-founded For the People Artists Collective, a radical squad of Black artists and artists of color in Chicago who create work that uplifts and projects struggle, resistance, and survival within and for our marginalized communities. Since 2016, FTP has created three radical coloring books, created artwork for and participated in several large-scale campaigns for racial and economic justice in Chicago, and has commissioned artwork and led creative workshops for dozens of Chicago-based, grassroots organizations fighting for justice, abolition, and liberation. In 2017, her and Assata's Daughters co-founder Page May started the Lit Review podcast, a literary podcast for the movement, interviewing community members and organizers about critical books to read in this political moment. You can listen to old episodes here.
Monica actively pushes for spaces where both artists & organizers recognize the necessity of cultural organizing, and creates work to uplift and document struggles in Black & brown communities in Chicago. Monica has created artwork for dozens of grassroots organizations and efforts in Chicago, and has had work shown at the DuSable Museum, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Monica is a member of For the People Artists Collective and Justseeds Artists Cooperative.