Best-Selling Author, Social Justice Activist, Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, a graduate of Miami Dade College, Florida International University College of Law, a Ford Global Fellow, and a 2021 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. Read More >
2021 MacArthur Fellow Profile Video
How One Man Restored Voting Rights to 1.6 Million People
Voting is “Sacred” | 60 Minutes
On Voting Rights for Ex-felons in Florida
A Second Chance Is Justice
For many, time behind bars is only the beginning of the story. That is surely the case for Desmond Meade and everything that represents him — his life story, his political activism, and the movement he spearheaded to restore voting rights to returning citizens who had served their terms. Meade survived a tough childhood only to find himself with a felony conviction. Finding the strength to pull his life together, he graduated summa cum laude from college, graduated from law school, and married. But because of his conviction, he was not even allowed to sit for the bar exam in Florida. And when his wife ran for state office, he was filled with pride—but not permitted to vote for her. Meade takes us on a journey from his time in homeless shelters, to the exhilarating, joyful night in November of 2018, when Amendment 4 passed with 65 percent of the vote. In this inspiring keynote, Meade’s story, and his commitment to a fully enfranchised nation, will prove to audience members that one person really can make a difference.
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