Angela Rose Myers & Tyler Moroles: Community Leaders
Angela Rose Myers and Tyler Moroles are a dynamic couple that is changing the community of their hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
As Vice President of the Minneapolis Chapter of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Angela’s community has always grounded her social justice work. After graduating from Barnard College, she returned home to work for the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice. It was through he interest in bridging her passion for social justice work and Critical Race Theory that she became involved with the MPLS NAACP.
Community is also the point of passion for Tyler Moroles who was born and raised in the same District 63B where he is running for the Minnesota State House of Representatives. His service to his community extends to his work as the Senior Planning Analyst for Hennepin County managing the CDBG Program and as Treasurer of the Minnesota Democratic Party. With a Master’s degree from Columbia University and a BA from DePaul University, Tyler has equipped himself with the tools to create an impactful change in the state of Minnesota.
Q: Evident in each of your current projects, you both take pride in impacting communities. Individually, what would you both describe as a defining moment in your life that set you on this trajectory of impact today?
Angela: My trajectory started before I was born. My grandfather worked extremely hard to provide for his family and his community. He became one of the first black PhDs in Economics from Harvard University in 1948. He later became the president of Bowie State College, and the president of NAFEO. He set the trajectory for me to do the work I am doing. So it is hard for me to pinpoint a place in my life that isn’t tied to his legacy. When summer reading lists were curated by my parents to include the works of James Baldwin and Ralph Ellis, it is hard to claim that I’m here in this space, purely because of a decision I made.
Tyler: I would not say that there was one moment in my life where it set me off on the trajectory I am on because all of my personal success is a function of the work I do one step at a time, the daily habits, the consistency of effort. However there are certainly moments in my life where I was given a big break or big opportunity and that opportunity opened doors. For one when I was accepted into internship on Capitol Hill in Washington DC to work for Congressman Danny K Davis through the Keith Sherin Global Scholars Program. Then that experience made me competitive in my application for the Columbia University’s Leadership Alliance Summer Research program. Everything builds off each experience, you grow and you have to keep growing day by day. These opportunities are just moments for you to show what you are made of but in reality it is not about the moments but its about the daily habits that get you there.
Q: Both of you share a great deal of experience gathered from working in and with social justice organizations, local, state, and federal government entities, and community groups. What has been the most important skill or lesson that each of you have developed at this point?
Angela: I have learned to never to count anyone out. There are a lot of old, dedicated activists in our communities who have done the work, making incremental change, since before I was born. These folk are often quiet, sometimes group with the folk they’ve known for years, and hold so much history and love for the work. Many, in the spaces I navigate, are old Black Women. Women who were passed over for men, or for exciting activists who burn out. They have seen new person after new person burn out after going up against the same politicians or gate holders. The lesson I’ve learned is to always talk to these women FIRST. They have gone through so much and know so much more than I know.
Tyler: I would say the most important skill you need in politics in particular is people skills. It is never about you in the end and it is about the work at hand, the people it will effect and the people you are working with. Maintaining a sense of humility and keeping on task with the real work will get you far, it is not about me, it is not about you it is about us and how we as a collective can make our city, county, state, or country a better place. Another lesson I learned that I think applies literally everywhere is being willing to fail and accepting that failure is part of the process. I hosted and organized door knocks where no one showed up, I still door knocked that area to get out the vote. But I kept going and other days there were plenty of people there to door knock. If you believe in the work, then just keep going even if no one else buys in because eventually after consistent effort you will make progress.
Q: We have all heard of the “power couple” label represented in various capacities and industries. You two definitely fit the mold of a positive depiction. Tell us about a unique trait that you each individually contribute to the success of the relationship. As a couple, how do you see your combined “powers” making a difference?
Angela: Tyler is truly my best friend, he is my greatest source of support and the person that grounds me. I think it’s important to always push your partner, but always realize when their goals have changed. I feel like I do that with Tyler and he does that with me.
Tyler: Its funny when people call us a “Power Couple” because to us we are just regular people who love cuddling up and watching Netflix or joking about this meme we saw on our feed or talking about the news or our next endeavor. But we always support each other when we can in our community work like any good partner should! I think one trait that she brings is pushing me to be my best self even when I do not want to be, either because I am feeling lazy or lack motivation or want to just have fun over getting work done she always pushes me to do the right thing. I think what I contribute is I am always showing my love and appreciation for what she does, I always give an effort to show anything she does is appreciated and not taken for granted. Even today I thanked her for filling the gas tank and she was like “why did you thank me for that, I have to” and I told her “I’ll always show I appreciate the little things”.
When it comes to making a difference together one big factor is that we are working to bring two amazing, beautiful, rich communities closer together. I am Mexican American and she is African American so we have different networks but we always work to bring each other in, whether it is me taking her to community celebrations like Cinco De Mayo, or Dia De Los Muertos or Hispanic Heritage month celebration or her bringing me to Black churches, or Black organization galas or even Black Greek events. When we do that we greatly expand our networks while at the same time show our love in many different spaces and that in and of itself is powerful.
Q: Oftentimes, we only get one chance to have the story of who we really are as individuals told second-hand as a bio or a curated feature. So, unedited and unfiltered, we want to know in summary directly from each of you, Who is Angela Myers? Who is Tyler Morales?
Angela: Coming from a family filled with Black professors, lawyers and doctors, I always felt like I had a world of expectations placed on my shoulders. After graduating from college, I’ve had to do a lot with redefining success and happiness. I have always had to deal with mental health issues, sometimes publicly and sometimes privately, and so as I am redefining my goals within the parameters of understanding my mental illness. I don’t let it limit me, but I do let it guide me as an outline for a path I can accept. Many times so far in my life, I have pushed the boundaries of what my mind and body could handle. To say it briefly, things never really worked out or were as fulfilling when I had to sacrifice my mental health.
I say this because many folk define themselves through their accomplishments and/ or goals. I’m still defining my goals, but I can tell you my values. I am a woman who values integrity, love, and knowledge.
Tyler: Tyler Moroles is a just a guy trying to make a difference and do what is right in a world with so much oppression, and a negative outlook if we do not take action. I am someone who is motivated by seeing these giant problems in our future and wanting to take action so I will tell my grandkids in the future that I actually did something and did not watch on the sidelines. I am a proud son of a Chicano Mexican American Migrant Worker and a woman who was an activist against the Vietnam war. I am a man of integrity and character who does strive to follow what I believe. I am someone who regardless of all of my successes is still quite flawed and is working every day to be a better man even while knowing perfection is impossible, I’ll always make mistakes but I will always learn from them as well. Finally, I am the resistance to White Supremacy and will work daily to make a more equitable America.