Director of Strategy and Innovation
Shaka Senghor is a leading voice in criminal justice reform and the Director of Strategy and Innovation at #cut50. His memoir, Writing My Wrongs:Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison, was released in March 2016 and debuted on The New York Times Bestseller List and The Washington Post Best Seller List.
An unforgettable tale of forgiveness and second chances, Writing My Wrongs reminds us that our worst deeds don't define who we are or what we can contribute to the world. Shaka’s story as inspired thousands and serves as a powerful testament to the power of hope, compassion and unconditional love.
Shaka is a former 2013 MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and a former Fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network. He has taught at the University of Michigan and shares his story of redemption around the world. Shaka’s TED Talk, which he delivered at TED’s 30th Anniversary Conference, received a standing ovation and has been viewed more than 1.3 million times; TED later featured his talk in its “Year in Ideas” roundup, a collection of the most powerful TED Talks of 2014.
Shaka is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2012 Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership Award, the 2015 Manchester University Innovator of the Year Award, the 2016 Ford Man of Courage Award, and the 2016 NAACP Great Expectations Award. He was recently recognized by OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) as a “Soul Igniter” in the inaugural class of the SuperSoul 100, a dynamic group of trailblazers whose vision and life’s work are bringing a higher level of consciousness to the world around them and encouraging others to do the same. Shaka is a 2016 Ebony Magazine Power 100 Honoree for his leadership and positive impact on the black community. He is also the 2017 recipient of GLIDE’s Rev. Cecil Williams Legacy Award.
Shaka has been a guest on CNN, CBS This Morning, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Good Day New York, NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, FOX Good Day D.C., and C-SPAN’s After Words. He has also been a guest on numerous radio programs, including The Breakfast Club, All Things Considered, The Lenny Lopate Show, The Maggie Linton Show, and Power 105.1 with Angie Martinez.
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