Michael Nasir Blackwell has been an advocate for change as long as he can remember. Having served 24 ½ years in prison, Nasir studied jurisprudence the entire time of his incarceration, and became a staunch advocate while incarcerated. Nasir advocacy work within Illinois Department of Corrections
focused around literacy, policy, and was co-founder of Danville Prison Veterans’ organization DANVETS, where Nasir served as commander for two years prior to his release in March of 2015. Nasir also served on the ACT (Awareness, Change, & Triumph) committee, where the committee was integral with increasing the graduation rate within Danville prison. Since his release, Nasir began working with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network as a Resident Coordinator, and is now a full time organizer. As an Organizer, Nasir continue to advocate on behalf of returning citizens. Nasir help write and push for successful passage of SB 2282, removing a barrier that prohibited returning citizens from associating with other parolees while attending religious services, a relative, or doing community work. Nasir also works around issues of Police Accountability, voting rights, access to affordable housings, and is currently working on a piece of legislation to amend the Illinois Murder Registry. Nasir continue to speak around the city of Chicago on matters concerning criminal justice, parole reform, restorative justice, and matters affecting Chicago communities.