‘I need to step up and fight for what’s right’
P.J. Hill’s journey from professional athlete to Wells Fargo Advisors financial advisor to activist is inspiring his Minneapolis community.
When P.J. Hill saw the disturbing video of George Floyd’s tragic killing on social media, “something inside of me broke,” he said. Born and raised in Minneapolis, the Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) financial advisor knew the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where Floyd was killed, like the back of his hand. Hill’s church, where his great uncle is a senior pastor, is across the street.
The intersection would become a growing memorial for Floyd and the epicenter of a renewed racial equity and social justice movement — with Hill emerging as a leading voice in his hometown.
“I’m just a member of this community, but I have passion, and I can articulate what people really feel. And that’s what I want to do — speak for all of the people whose voices are unheard.” — P.J. Hill, Wells Fargo financial advisor
“People asked me to speak up, and so from that moment, I decided, 'OK, I need to step up and fight for what’s right,'” Hill said. “I’m just a member of this community, but I have passion, and I can articulate what people really feel. And that’s what I want to do — speak for all of the people whose voices are unheard.”
Hill, a former professional basketball player, joined athletes in a small march across town that swelled into a crowd of thousands. He took the stage at various events, documenting his feelings and his actions on social media. Now, he’s advocating for police reform and community empowerment through voting, and his message has spread from the community to colleagues at Wells Fargo Advisors to national media outlets.
Hill joined WFA as a financial advisor through the group’s Next Generation Talent program, which is designed to source, train, develop, retain, and support new financial advisors and create a strong pipeline of talent to serve a new generation of clients. Hill met his mentor, WFA financial advisor Robert Grant, when he was coaching Grant’s son at a summer basketball academy.
“He said, ‘P.J., what do you want to do after basketball? I've been watching you for several years and how you interact with people. You have all the gifts to be good in this business of financial advising, because it's built on trust and charisma,’” Hill recalled. “He’s made a commitment to me to teach me the business, and now I get to learn every day from him through conversations, through stories, through all of these things going on.
“My boss has really supported me and had my back in a way that I never could imagine. He’s not just out there marching, but he’s given me the platform to go even farther.”
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