asha bandele

asha bandele

Senior Director, Grants, Partnerships and Special Projects

asha bandele, DPA’s Senior Director of Grants, Partnerships and Special Projects, joined the organization in 2005. She built and continues to manage DPA’s grants program, which supports grassroots organizations by providing financial and intellectual resources, while regularly engaging a wide array of audiences in public conversations about drugs and drug policy.

The award-winning, best-selling author of The Prisoner’s Wife, and four other books, asha is also a journalist whose articles have been read widely in publications that include the the New York Timesthe Nation, Vibe, Ebony and Essence, where she covered a broad range of people from Winnie Mandela to Denzel Washington, from Assata Shakur to Mary J. Blige. She has reported from places that included Cuba, South Africa and Newtown, Connecticut after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In 2014, asha was the last person to interview Dr. Maya Angelou, 10 days before her death. 

In 2016 Scribner will re-release asha’s 2003 novel, Daughter, about the impact of police violence on one Brooklyn family, with the updated e-edition including advice on healing from the founders of Black Lives Matter, Harry Belafonte, Michelle Alexander, Kadiatou Diallo and numerous others incredible scholars and advocates.

asha completed her B.A. at The New School, her M.F.A. at Bennington College and served as a Revson Fellow at Columbia University in which her cohort unpacked issues of economic disparity in a post-9/11 New York City. But her single greatest joy and passion is parenting her daughter, Nisa, an honors-level high-schooler, dancer, writer and Aries, who published her own first work when she was 15. The two live and create in Brooklyn, New York.

Select public conversations

With Michelle Alexander

With Dr. Stanton Peele

With Dr. Carl Hart

Leadership Team
Advocacy Grants Program