Green Festival Speakers

Shanelle Matthews


Once Shanelle realized her communication skills could be a tool for social change, she committed her career to social justice media that addresses the needs of marginalized communities. Prior to joining Forward Together, Shanelle worked for Law Students for Reproductive Justice, serving as their first Development and Administrative Associate; it was during that time that her interest in reproductive justice was cultivated into an irrevocable passion. Previous to that she worked as a freelance journalist contributing to media chiefly in the nonprofit sector, including Women's eNews and the Women's Media Center. After witnessing the birth of her first nephew, Gavin, Shanelle was inspired to research black women’s maternal health and cofounded a birthing justice collective in Oakland. She is passionate about healthy debate, protests with a cause, and cheese. She holds a BA in Journalism from the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University and is currently working toward a MS in Urban Studies with an emphasis in Race, Ethnicity, and American Urban Culture.