Sheena Meade transforms pain to purpose to policy to power. Prior to joining the Clean Slate Initiative as its first Managing Director, Sheena served in a variety of leadership roles focused on building long-term, sustainable change for communities. Most recently, Sheena served as a Criminal Justice Program Officer at Galaxy Gives, a philanthropic investment organisation, where she advised grantees and helped develop and lead a Criminal Justice Fellowship program to help grantees hone professional skills to build stronger, more impactful organisations. As Director of Strategic Partnerships at Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) and as Senior Advisor to the Second Chances Florida Campaign, Sheena developed the basic blueprints for fundraising, events and grassroots organising that helped win a landmark referendum to restore for voting rights to 1.4 million disenfranchised people. Over the past two years, Sheena has also managed and led the implementation of large-scale voter outreach programs, spearheaded FRRC’s advocacy program and events, and trained hundreds of new activists to educate their communities and engage their neighbours on criminal justice reform issues.
Before contributing to FRRC’s historic campaign, Sheena led coordinated advocacy and legislative work for the Florida AFL CIO’s Labor Council, a federation of over 500 local unions. Her efforts led to important victories, including preserving state employees’ pensions and increased funding for public education. She also founded the Florida Young Workers AFL-CIO, serving as its first chair and organising the first statewide phone bank using predictive dialer technology that enabled rank and file union leaders to better mobilise their members. While serving as interim Deputy Director at Bread for the World (BFTW), Sheena developed multi-state strategies to engage those most impacted by hunger and poverty by examining root causes like mass incarceration, immigration and systemic racism.
Sheena honed her organising skills doing grassroots outreach in community organisations and later, working for the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) as a canvasser and then as state director for the union’s national health care reform campaign, Americans for Health Care. As the South Carolina state director, Sheena built a powerful state campaign to elevate demand for health care reform at the state and local level by organising thousands of churches, activists and elected officials to advocate for reform, building a grassroots constituency that later helped President Obama pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Sheena’s activism dates back to her teenage years when she fought for voting rights as a member of Black Youth Vote; as a young parent advocating for early childhood education through the Early Learning Coalition; championing worker’s rights through A. Phillip Randolph Institute; and empowering young people through Black Youth Vote! and Girls initiative through the Black Women’s Roundtable.
Sheena and her husband, Desmond Meade, are proud parents to five children and active members of their church and community.