Elijah Jaleel “EJ” Raheem Easley is a youth development specialist and community activist from Minnesota, United States. He was a father of two and was expecting his third child when he became known as the Pink Shirt Pizza Guy in 2020.
On May 27, 2020, Easley was interviewed by Minnesota journalist Emma Leigh Fiala as part of a live stream outside the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota amid one of the Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd‘s death. In the same video, he was seen confronting and following a masked man breaking glass at an Auto Zone store on East Lake Street in Minneapolis.
While interacting with the masked man, Easley was carrying a box of pizza and was wearing a pink shirt, which is part of A Mothers Love Initiative. Here are 13 more facts about Easley:
- His mother Erica Denise Campbell studied nursing at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College in Minneapolis. She works at American Red Cross in Minneapolis.
- His father Robert Carl Easley is a resident of Detroit, Michigan, USA.
- He was raised in north Minneapolis.
- He is a resident of Mankato, Minnesota.
- He went to Harvest Prep School-Seed Academy located in Minneapolis.
- He graduated from North Community High School in Minneapolis.
- In 2011, he volunteered to be a camp leader and football coach for the first time.
- On March 29, 2015, he spent five hours in the emergency room after suffering from inflammation in his heart.
- On December 16, 2017, he was one of the artists featured on the “Black Snake Killaz Hip Hop Show” at the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Office in Minneapolis.
- As a poet called Gray Matter, he was featured on Cracked Walnut in August 2019.
- He is the vice president of Mac House LLC, a Minnesota-based collective of elite artists specializing in project management, event coordination and consulting. He and Mac House were part of the cast of “Ancestral Origins,” a theater production starring Joe Davis and Fazayah Rose Augusta. It was shown at The Southern Theatre on South Washington Avenue in Minneapolis from December 5-8, 2019.
- In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, he and his MAC House partners teamed up with Brothers Empowered to serve food in North and South Minneapolis, according to the GoFundMe fundraiser organized by Hanna Kjeldbjerg of Minneapolis.
- He was 27 years old when he attended a Black Lives Matter rally on May 27, 2020.