Meet the Board: Tracie Gardner

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The Legal Action Center is a non-profit law and policy organization that fights discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records. As if that's not enough, the organization also advocates for sound public policies in these areas. 

The Deep State team is fortunate–– and super grateful–– to have Tracie Gardner, their associate director, on our advisory board. 

We spoke to Tracie via email about the mission of the Legal Action Center, and what Tracie's hopes are for Deep State:

What are you working on now?

The Legal Action Center is working on policy advocacy to ensure that health-based solutions, rather than criminal justice, are the first response for people with addiction and mental health issues. Most of this work is happening at the state level.

What do you think is the biggest challenge of the current political moment?

There is such a danger of people accepting what is going on as a normal: it is so overwhelming and happening on so many fronts, it can breed apathy. I am concerned that the enemy is crafty in distracting us, and that we might turn on each other.

What excites you, if anything, about the current political moment?

I'm excited by the potential for social media and technology to activate people and plug them into ways to gather and get involved. My hope is that these forms of media will engage people younger than me, help them learn from the past, and facilitate change.

What are three other orgs that you want to shout out for their amazing work?

Youth RepresentBlack Girls Code, and Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI)

Why are you excited about Deep State?

I think a new community of advocates and activists will come out of this experience. I hope that Deep State will launch people and groups who will be able to focus their energy on issues that need strategic thinking, attention and action. I hope that Deep State will forge new roads and create a living, evolving platform that connects attendees to a powerful network of resistance.

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Tweet at Tracie at @Traciemgardner

If you want to learn more about the Legal Action Center, check out their website

Want to get involved in Deep State? We hope so! Sliding scale tickets are available here. While you're at it, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

This interview was edited for brevity and clarity with consent