KingDemetrius Pendleton

always has a camera with him.

“My camera is my weapon, my choice,” he says.
“When you are documenting the truth, the truth deserves no apology. Once you see something, you can’t deny it. And once you know the truth, you’re able to act on it.”

A photographer and journalist, KingDemetrius understands the power and importance of stories. In 2015 when police killed Jamar Clark in North Minneapolis, KingDemetrius brought his camera out to the site. As he bore witness and spoke with others who were there, he noticed the difference between what he was seeing and hearing, and what mainstream media was portraying. He recalled the words of Malcom X: 


“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and make the guilty innocent.”

Since then he has been photographing and livestreaming events revolving mainly around racial justice.

“I wanted to change the way people narrate the world,” KingDemetrius says.

He’s also worked tirelessly against distracted and drunk drivers after the death of his daughter, who was tragically killed by an impaired driver. He’s partnered with an array of mission-driven organizations, giving others

“the opportunity, the freedom to speak, to act, to do something about their causes for justice.”


As a single father of five, KingDemetrius is now raising money to purchase a home for his family. The security of home ownership is a major step in allowing him to continue his voluntary community activism and storytelling. It will allow him to

“keep speaking power to truth, and keep showing up for people,” he says.

Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards recognize the significant impact four honorees have had on the state of Minnesota and its communities. 


Meet the Other Heroes:

Richard Howell

Ruth Evangelista

Rawhi Said

Nancy Musinguzi: Photographer
Nancy Musinguzi (they/them/theirs) is a Ugandan/Liberian, first-generation non-binary/trans American documentary photographer, multidisciplinary artist and storyteller based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the past 8 years, they have dedicated their visual storytelling and reflexive research practice to documenting the nuances of contemporary American life, identity and culture through a critical lens. Since 2014, they have installed solo and group exhibitions and guest curated gallery shows in collaboration with early-career and emerging artists, community organizations and foundations, universities, high schools, and youth-led collectives. They have also self-published 8 photography books, and most recently with Wise Ink Publishing, The Letter Formally Known As Q: Voices From Minnesota’s Queer Immigrant Community, in 2021. They are also a 2021-22 Black Seed Fellow.
Alia Jeraj
Alia Jeraj (she & they) is a performer, writer, and educator in the Twin Cities. With support from MRAC's 2018 Next Step Fund and as a part of Pillsbury House Theater's 2020 Naked Stages cohort, Alia continues to explore their connection to the songs and stories of her ancestors. Alia's bylines include American Craft, the Twin Cities Daily Planet, and Pollen Midwest. When not singing, writing, or working to subvert mainstream education systems, you can find Alia curled up with hot chai and a book, or somewhere near a body of water.