Advocacy and Activism

As a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, Dilliplane was resolutely engaged in racial justice activism, including the movement to remove the Confederate statue known as "Silent Sam" from the university's campus. Following the toppling of the statue by protesters in 2018, he participated in the graduate assistants' strike to prevent its reinstallation by UNC's Board of Governors. 

Daniel is one of the founding members of arts and education non-profit InterPlay's Racial Equity and Transformation (RET) Committee . Alongside the other members of this committee, he spearheaded the design, implementation, and administration of InterPlay's RET Mini-Grants program. This program offers small grants to support Black, Indigenous, and other artists and educators of color in the creation of projects and programs aimed at creatively addressing racial discrimination and disparities. Moreover, as a member of the organization's Board of Directors, Daniel served on hiring committees, functioned as a direct contact for external consultants, and led an internal organizational review from survey design through data analysis and strategic planning. 

As a community organizer with The Chicago Light Brigade, Dilliplane spearheaded a successful campaign to get chipping lead paint removed from classrooms in Chicago's Gale Elementary. Serving as media spokesperson for the community group, he emphasized the pattern of disinvestment and institutional neglect in public schools serving poor Black, Latino, and immigrant communities. Through his pursuit of a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to confirm that the peeling paint contained lead, he was able to demonstrate that the school district authorities were already aware of the dangers posed to students but had failed to act. After demanding the allocation of funds to ameliorate this clear example of environmental racism, the group was able to force the city to respond by intensifying public pressure with creative protests.

Daniel is a founding member of the Chicago Light Brigade, a network of community organizers and activists committed to supporting grassroots struggles with creative tactics, skill sharing, and mutual aid. His work with this group focused on the defense of public education and workers rights as well as resistance to mass incarceration and the consolidation of power by private corporations. The Chicago Light Brigade was engaged in a variety of tactics, but was most known for its use of lighted letter boards to spell out protest messages

Images of Chicago Light Brigade's creative protests

Dilliplane advocates for students of Chicago's Gale Elementary