Host organization: Asian Prisoner Support Committee
Eddy Zheng will raise awareness about the impact of criminalization and deportation on the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community and ensure that the API voice and experience is included in the larger movement to end mass incarceration in the United States.
Chinese-born Zheng is an activist and author based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He served almost 20 years in the California prison system, during which time he earned his GED and associate’s degree, co-edited an anthology of writing by incarcerated Asians and Pacific Islanders, started the first poetry slam at San Quentin, and was active in efforts to include Asian American and Ethnic Studies in the prison’s college program. Following his parole, he was immediately detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and put into deportation proceedings. Since his release, he has worked with the Community Youth Center of San Francisco, leading the organization’s violence prevention efforts. He is a mayoral appointee of the San Francisco Reentry Council and the San Francisco Southeast Community Facility Commission, and sits on the board of directors for the Chinatown Community Development Center and Chinese for Affirmative Action. He is the co-chair for the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, the host organization for his fellowship. In April 2015, Zheng received a full pardon from Governor Jerry Brown.