Desmond Meade

2022 Distinguished Alumnus

College: College of Law

Degree: JD '14

Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the current Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, Chair of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Men’s Roundtable, and a graduate of Florida International University College of Law.

As President of the FRRC and Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, Desmond lead the successful “Amendment 4” campaign which established voting rights for over 1.4 million Floridians with a prior felony conviction. Honored for his efforts, Desmond was named Central Floridian and Floridian of the Year.

A sought-after speaker, Mr. Meade has been invited to speak for national entities and events such the APSA “Inequality, Democracy and Americas Future” event, Temple Beth Am, Temple Beth Or, Politrip, NACDL Presidential Summit, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Unrig Summit, and Bread for the World. He has also testified before Congressional members and staff and was a part of a delegation to the United Nations, where he gave testimony regarding disenfranchisement in Florida.

He is a frequent guest and contributor on national news outlets and has appeared on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Fox News with Tucker Carlson, and Dana Perino, Al Jazeera, Democracy NOW with Amy Goodman, MSNBC’s AM Joy Reid and MSNBC’s former Melissa Harris-Perry Show. Mr. Meade has served as a columnist for the Huffington Post and has been interviewed by journalists from publications such as ColorLines, The Atlantic, Politic365, the Washington Post, Orlando Sentinel, and the New York Times Magazine.

Mr. Meade is married and has five beautiful children.