Salvador Miranda's taken on slumlords and drug dealers and lobbied for housing and jobs in the Twin Cities for 30 years.
So a smile came easily to the longtime organizer during a recent rally in south Minneapolis. He saw kindred spirits in the crowd among the signs and banners declaring "Black Lives Matter."
He's worked with some of these leaders, many in their twenties, as they learned the basics of community organizing.
"This is the future of democracy, from my perspective," said Miranda, co-director of training at the Minneapolis-based Voices for Racial Justice.
Now 66 years old, he knows how hard it can be to get your voice heard.
Early on in life, it didn't look like the St. Paul native would find his way on a difficult road. But he credits family, the War on Poverty and the timely intervention by a supervisor for his success in life. He became of the first Chicano graduates of the University of Minnesota Law School.
Today, as he watches a new generation take the reins of social activism, he holds a guarded optimism that the country will return to the kind of public investment in people that was a factor in his success.
Click on the audio bar above to hear more from Salvador Miranda.