Prison Abolition with the Formerly Incarcerated South Asian Journalist and Press Secretary Turned Prison Reform Activism, Ashish Prashar

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By Nancy Wu (Asian American, Economist, Progressive, Woman, Storyteller) and Nancy Wu (Asian American. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Nancy chats with Ashish Prashar about his time in prison for a non-violent crime, how the prison industrial complex discriminates against BIPOC, and how to move toward prison reform and abolition.
When you hear Ashish Prashar’s lovely soft spoken British accent, coupled with his intellectual stance on the flawed U.S. prison system, it's really hard to believe he spent an entire year of his life in a dark prison at the young age of 17 for a non-violent crime.

Sadly, he’s one of thousands of BIPOCs whose lives will forever be impacted by a flawed justice system (minorities rep 80% of those with convictions). Incarceration has a profound effect that reaches far beyond prison itself: Millions of people are needlessly unemployed, underemployed or homeless just because they have a conviction. And did you know more than 75% of jail suicides involve people who had not been convicted of a crime?

But today, Ash is a transformational leader, innovator and justice reform activist who prides himself as the first formerly incarcerated individual to rise from reporter to press secretary for high-ranking politicians, to the c-suite of an iconic company (R/GA).

Ashish fights the good fight: he’s campaigned for bail reform, ending solitary confinement, and the restoration of voting rights. He sits on the boards of Exodus Transitional Community, Getting Out and Staying Out NYC, Just Leadership USA, Leap Confronting Conflict, the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice. He champion’s R/GA’s second chance hiring programs across its 10+ offices globally.

You can also check out his contributed articles to CNN, USA Today, Business Insider, Fast Company – all focused on prison advocacy.

Ashish has a lengthy career in politics as Press Secretary to the former Mayor of London, campaign leader for former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, supported President Joe Biden's 2020 US Presidential Campaign, played an integral part of Obama's 2008 US Presidential Campaign, the 2018 Midterms for a variety of Democrat candidates, and much more).
Nancy: Website, Instagram, Twitter
Welcome to Progressive Opinions of Color (POC), a podcast that creates space for people of color in conversations about economics, politics, and culture. Your host is Nancy Wu. Nancy is an Asian American woman, an economist, and a huge politics and policy nerd. Nancy triple majored in Economics, Government (Political Science) and Gender Studies at Dartmouth and has a Master’s in Development Economics from Oxford. She works as an Economist full time and has previously worked in economic policy at the White House (under Obama, of course) and progressive think tanks.
The goal of this podcast is to engage the state of the economy, and other pressing topics in politics, economics, and culture, all through perspectives inclusive of the lived experiences of people of color. Whether you're new to politics or already a huge politics nerd, we hope this podcast inspires community and conversation among us. Join us in reimagining politics and economics with underrepresented voices.

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