Dasheika Ruffin

New Leaders Council Atlanta
Consultant, ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice

Fighting for Justice

Dasheika is a Political Operative and a consultant for the American Civil Liberties Union’s (the ACLU”) National Campaign for Smart Justice, where she also is the immediate former Southern Regional Director. The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice is a 50-state campaign focused on ending mass incarceration in the United States, reducing the jail and prison population by 50 percent, and combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. As Southern Regional Director, Dasheika manages the campaign’s efforts in nine priority states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Dasheika utilizes grassroots organizing, legislative reform, and litigation strategies to achieve victories in the area of sentencing reform, parole and probation reform, bail reform, prosecutorial reform, reentry reform, and voting rights throughout the South.

During her short time with the ACLU, Dasheika has made a major impact. She led two historic campaigns that ushered the end of Jim Crow-era laws; Amendment 4 in Florida, which reestablished voting rights for nearly 1.4 million Floridians living with felony convictions and Amendment 2 in Louisiana, which required unanimous juries for all felony convictions. She was also instrumental in working with the City of Atlanta to end cash bail and helping to pass comprehensive criminal justice reform at the state level.

Dasheika has a depth of electoral campaign experience. Since 2000, she has worked on three national campaigns – Elizabeth Warren for President in 2020, where she served as Senior Advisor and National Director of Community Engagement, Senator Hillary Clinton where she served as the Georgia Political Director and advised on local policy, and President Barack Obama in 2008, where she served a Regional Organizer. Additionally, Dasheika has managed numerous federal and local races. Most recently, Dasheika helped led two historic Democratic victories; Alabama with Senator Doug Jones and Massachusetts with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. Currently, she serves as Senior Advisor for Reverend Raphael Warnock who is running for the United States Senate in Georgia.

Prior to her tenure with the Doug Jones Campaign, she served as the Legal and Legislative Director for the City of Atlanta, where she drafted policies and laws, on behalf of the Atlanta City Council and the mayor. Most notably, she drafted Atlanta’s Marijuana Ordinance, which deprioritizes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana within the City of Atlanta city limits and the City’s Ban the Box legislation, which prohibits the use of criminal history information to disqualify candidate applying for work with the City of Atlanta Government.

Outside of her role with the ACLU, Dasheika is actively involved in a number of civic, legal, and community organization. She is a volunteer lawyer with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, where she represents the interest of indigent clients. She also works as a Guardian Ad Litem for Fulton County, where she represents the interest of minor children who are the subject of lawsuits. Additionally, Dasheika serves as the chair of the Atlanta Youth Commission, where she works to develop strategies, policies and initiatives that are targeted towards benefiting, cultivating and promoting youth. She a 2020 fellow of the Presidential Leaders Scholarship program, a 2015 graduate of the Atlanta chapter of the New Leaders Council and a former member of the Executive Board, and a graduate of Leadership DeKalb and the Emerging Leaders Programs. Most recently, Dasheika served as a Script Consultant for Own Network’s television series Queen Sugar where she provides expertise on criminal justice matters.

Dasheika is licensed to practice law in both Georgia and Texas and has practiced criminal defense law, business litigation, employment discrimination and governmental affairs law for over 10 years. She received her Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, TX and received her B.A. and B.S in Pre-Law and Legal Studies from the University of Florida.

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