Talila A. Lewis is a community lawyer, educator and organizer whose work highlights and addresses the nexus between race, class, disability and structural inequity. Recognized as a 2015 White House Champion of Change and one of Pacific Standard Magazine's Top 30 Thinkers Under 30, Lewis engineers & leads innovative and intersectional social justice efforts that illuminate and address grave injustices within education, medical, and legal systems that have gone unaddressed for generations.
As the creator of the only national database of imprisoned deaf people, Lewis, a prison abolitionist, advocates with & for hundreds of deaf and disabled defendants and incarcerated & returned individuals as the volunteer director of Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf communities (HEARD). As one of the only people in the world working on deaf wrongful conviction cases, Lewis regularly testifies, teaches, presents and trains on carceral ableism and related topics. Lewis serves as a consultant for dozens of social justice organizations on various topics including racial, economic, gender, and disability justice and as an expert on cases involving deaf/disabled people. A founding member of the Harriet Tubman Collective and co-creator of the Disability Solidarity praxis, Lewis has taught at Rochester Institute of Technology and Northeastern University School of Law.
A recent graduate of American University Washington College of Law, Lewis has received awards from numerous universities, the American Bar Association, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, American Association for People with Disabilities, the Nation Institute, National Black Deaf Advocates, and EBONY Magazine, among others.
Lewis is a 2018 Roddenberry Fellow & a 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity.