Bobby Perkins (March 24, 1955 – April 18, 2023) held a special place in the hearts of many. On April 19, Out For Justice members, partners, allies, friends, and family gathered to honor the life of a man whose influence will resound for years to come. Bobby was celebrated as “a friend of many of ours and our allies, community leader, father, brother, and all around solid---real solid man,” in the words of Out For Justice Executive Director, Nicole Hanson-Mundell.
Known as Mr. Perkins, Mr. Bobby, or Bobby, he was a well-respected leader at Out For Justice (OFJ). Nicole Hanson-Mundell met Bobby while doing outreach at a transitional housing center, where he successfully convinced her to bring him on as Outreach Coordinator. He had a unique ability to connect and establish trust with justice-impacted people, motivating them to join OFJ. Many of OFJ’s most active members credit Bobby with bringing them into the fold.
Bobby loved going into communities and registering people to vote, using his gift of encouraging currently and formerly incarcerated people to utilize their voting power to enact change. His sister, Ms. Harriet, remembered, “Bobby was really, really proud of the work he did for Out For Justice. And it was something he really wholeheartedly believed in…he would beat the streets, getting people to vote and taking them to the polls.” OFJ member Aryn McLemore honored him as a “vanguard,” a man not afraid to take risks or be the first in line to pursue justice.
Bobby was known for speaking truth to power. Caryn York, Out For Justice Board President, recalled how he unwaveringly shared his experience with lawmakers while standing firm in his advocacy for Out For Justice’s legislative priorities. He did the same with his friends, family, and mentees, always being straightforward and honest. Although Bobby sometimes butted heads with others about what was best, Out For Justice, and the community, everyone knew it came from a place of love.
Everyone knew you could count on Bobby. He was always there if someone needed help, whether it was a mother he had just met on the street or a friend in need. Bobby would do whatever it took to find a solution. As a respected elder, Bobby mentored young men who needed help getting their lives back on track after being impacted by the criminal legal system. After experiencing the benefits of therapy, yoga, and other holistic practices, he became a staunch advocate of sharing the benefits of these practices to improve the mental and physical well-being of those around him.
As we mourn and grieve the transition of Bobby Perkins, we are grateful for the treasured memories he has given us. Bobby taught us how to stand our ground, how to be there for one another, and how to turn our circumstances into transformative change. We at Out For Justice remain committed to carrying on his legacy through our work, and we look forward to having you join us.
Out For Justice will continue preserving Bobby's legacy, and we ask that you send any photos, videos, or stories of Bobby to firstname.lastname@example.org.