Rieko Shepherd is the Policy Manager for AWN. Rieko is a civil rights advocate with a passion for centering and uplifting marginalized populations. As a Black and Asian woman, she grew up navigating an array of challenges imposed by her intersectional identity in a nation state marred by deep structural inequities. This lived reality has strengthened her resolve to proactively target systems of oppression through legislative advocacy rather than solely relying on reactive measures in the aftermath of harm. She has considerable experience in civil litigation and has advocated for educational equity with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee and Lawyers for Children. Before her legal career, she taught high school as well as early childhood education in addition to training as a musician.