Speaker: Kumar Rao and Carey Shenkman, Fellows, Institute of Social Policy and Understanding
Kumar Rao is Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Popular Democracy. At the organization, he helps manage its racial justice policy work and supports partner organizations and their campaigns around racial equity, criminal justice, and the Movement for Black Lives. Prior to joining CPD, he worked as an attorney at several renowned rights organizations in the United States and abroad, including the International Legal Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Bronx Defenders. Throughout his career, Kumar has advocated on the full gambit of progressive legal matters in the public interest, including criminal defense for the indigent, immigrant rights, human rights, and civil rights. A former public defender and trial lawyer, Kumar has represented hundreds of clients in state and federal court, in both criminal and civil matters, and has counseled offices on the delivery of legal services and effective client representation practices. He also advised small and large nonprofit and private sector firms in strategic planning, designing creative technology solutions, and crafting communication and branding strategies.
Kumar has taught New York State CLE programs and served as a Leadership Institute Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., and guest faculty at Brooklyn Law School and the School of Visual Arts. He has been interviewed by high-profile media outlets and spoken on multiple panels about racial justice and civil rights issues.
Carey Shenkman is an attorney, litigator, and author specializing in human rights and Constitutional law. He works with numerous organizations, including ISPU, CAIR, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and ARTICLE 19. He serves on the board of the Calyx Institute, which focuses on educating the public about privacy in digital communication, and is an advisor to Columbia’s Global Freedom of Expression Program. He previously worked for the late Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of CCR. Mr. Shenkman holds two degrees in mathematics and regularly writes on issues of free speech, human rights, and technology. He graduated from New York University School of Law, where he served as an editor of the NYU Law Review.