Sheena Meade empowers the disenfranchised. She is a walking barrier breaker and one of
America’s leading experts on legal system reform.
CEO, Clean Slate Initiative
Board Member, Public Welfare
Board Member, The Policing Project
As CEO of The Clean Slate Initiative (CSI), Sheena leads a national bipartisan organization to advance policy that automatically clears all eligible arrest and conviction records across the US.
From creating a partnership with the NBA Social Justice Coalition to strategizing with groups of all political persuasion; Sheena is boundless in her commitment to making change. Under Sheena’s leadership, the Clean Slate Initiative has helped pass legislation that provided a path
for 3 million people to receive full or partial record clearance.
In April of 2023, Sheena’s organization, CSI, received a landmark financial commitment through The Audacious Project, a donor collaborative housed at TED. The award supports the organization’s strategy to unlock opportunities for up to 14 million people in America and is an unprecedented investment in second chances. As part of the announcement from The Audacious Project, Sheena presented a TED talk at the TED2023 Conference in Vancouver, BC, where she shared her own experience of living with a record and CSI’s mission with a global audience.
Prior to becoming CEO of The Clean Slate Initiative, Sheena helped found Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) as its first Organizing Director — along with wearing many other hats — and simultaneously took on the role of Senior Advisor to Second Chances Amendment 4 Florida Campaign. During this statewide, grassroots effort to return voting rights to people
experiencing felony disenfranchisement, Sheena raised 15 million dollars, mobilized thousands of impacted families and supporters to get to the polls, trained hundreds of activists to engage within their communities on the issue of criminal justice, and brought together 800 faith congregations to support Amendment 4 efforts. Florida voters enthusiastically passed Amendment 4 in 2018, restoring voting rights to 1.4 million people.
Sheena is regularly featured in media such as Ebony, CNN, PBS News, Newsweek, and more, as one of America’s most influential and dynamic nonprofit leaders, women empowerment experts, and the premier voice for criminal justice reform.
Over the course of her life, she has worked in communities around the country, channeling her passions and skill to advocate for those who need it most. She exemplifies bipartisanship by bringing together political notables to address critical issues related to justice. Her grassroots organizing savvy has led to successful voter registration drives around the country, including working with the likes of Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, John Legend, and Roc Nation.
Sheena currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Welfare Foundation and also sits on the boards of: the Policing Project at NYU School of Law; Live Free USA; and the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Engagement.
Her own journey is a life of overcoming.
Her own journey epitomizes resilience: from teenage mom and survivor of domestic violence to acclaimed executive, proud mother of five children, and half of one of America’s most dynamic power couples. Her husband, Desmond, shares his wife’s passion about criminal justice reform and voting rights. His organization, FRRC, recently was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, an organization that Sheena helped build.
Perhaps the greatest tool Sheena has in her arsenal is how she makes people feel.
Whether it is someone who has fallen on hard times or a multimillionaire; she connects with them and leaves them feeling inspired. Ask Sheena about these accomplishments and her drive, her answer is simple: “I’m just Sheena.”