asha bandele is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of six books, and a journalist whose work has been bylined in The New York Times, Essence, The Nation, Ebony and numerous other outlets. A long-time advocate for prison abolition and transformative justice, asha built and managed for 13 years a grants program with support from Open Society Foundations that undergirded grassroots organizations across the nation dedicated to ending the drug war; and she edited multiple volumes of healing informed curricula for young people living with trauma. In the early 2000s, asha served on the senior editorial team at Essence magazine, where she wrote or edited stories that ranged from profiles on or interviews with, Winnie Mandela, Barack Obama, Denzel Washington, Mary J. Blige and Kofi Annan, to in-depth articles on criminal justice. In 2016, asha co-produced From Prohibition to Gold Rush, a video about race and the drug war featuring Jay Z and the artwork of Molly Crabapple, which was voted best nonprofit video in 2017. But the most defining part of asha’s life is and has been the honor of parenting her daughter, Nisa, a scholar, dancer and member of Columbia University’s class of 2022.