Sharda Sekaran

Managing Director of Communications
Drug Policy Alliance
Sharda Sekaran has been the Managing Director of Communications at the Drug Policy Alliance since 2013. Sharda co-founded the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI), and served as Associate Director. Sharda most recently served as Director of News and Field Media at GLAAD and Director of Marketing and Communications at Citymeals-on-Wheels. She sits on the board of NESRI and Race Forward. Sharda holds an M.B.A. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School with concentrations in strategy and marketing. She earned her undergraduate degree in international relations from Pomona College.

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

How to Use your TV: Using Small Screens to Move Racial Justice

Calling all TV addicts — this is the workshop for you. Today’s television industry has more room for the stories of racial justice than ever before. This double panel presentation will focus on strategies for making the small screen work for racial justice by engaging writers’ rooms, taking advantage of reality TV opportunities, by hosting watch parties or generating social media commentary on TV content that applies to communities. We will include a special focus on the Netflix documentary “13th,” featuring activists from the documentary and a Skype appearance by its director, Ava DuVernay.

Speakers: Van Jones, Malkia Cyril, Bridgit Antoinette Evans, Brandon Andrews, Tracy Van Slyke, Sharda Sekaran

Mass Story Lab: stories as a tool for building a world beyond prisons

The exchange of stories can have tremendous implications for movement building – developing new coalitions, insights and questions that provoke new and vital bodies of research, inspire the creation of artistic works, and build community - catalyzing the kind of cultural change needed to end mass incarceration. So how do we use public storytelling as an instrument of radical cultural change? We need a public reckoning through mass storytelling that will challenge the American public to ask: what responsibility does the US have to repair the harm done to families and communities targeted by the “war on drugs” and draconian criminal justice policies? In this participatory workshop, we will use a creative visioning process to crowdsource the ideas, dreams, visions, and critical questions vital to building a world beyond prisons. Participants will get to contribute their stories and bear witness to the experiences of those impacted by incarceration. Finally, together we will envision strategies and practices for healing and restorative justice participants can take back into their work within communities directly impacted by mass incarceration.

Speakers: Sharda Sekaran, Marissa Johnson