Press Release  | 04/06/2005

Michael Blain to Speak at Spring Conference at Clark Atlanta University

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Thursday, April 7th: National Director of Public Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance Will Discuss Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs
Blain Available for Interviews on Current Drug Policy Issues

Michael Blain is a policy campaign strategist, activist and organizer. As the Director of the Office of Public Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, Michael supervises and directs lobbying efforts in 12 states. He's been invited to speak at the DuBois Institute Spring Conference: Criminal Justice Issues and the African American Community, on Thursday April 7th at 2:45 pm in room 1034 of the Cole Research Center.


In June of 2004 Michael was given an Exemplary Leadership Award by the Black Caucus in Maryland for the passage of HB 295-Treatment Not Incarceration, "a bi-partisan bill that will divert 2-3 thousand non-violent drug offenders from prison into community based treatment and save the state of Maryland between $40-60 million dollars, while rebuilding communities devastated by the War on Drugs..."


Michael Blain is available for interviews, and can speak on a variety of topics, including:

  • Racial disparities in the War on Drugs
  • Mandatory Minimums
  • State-based drug policy reforms, such as treatment vs. incarceration and medical marijuana
  • Federal barriers to financial aid for college students
  • Student drug testing
  • School drug raids

Michael is part of a highly developed nationwide network of formerly incarcerated people, their family members, and communities of color; his mission is to build a sustainable movement by promoting advocacy among those who have the most to gain from criminal justice reform. His advocacy work has been featured on the Tavis Smiley Show, in Corrections Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun, to name a few.


A graduate of the University of Maryland, Michael is a former Soros Fellow and was the Campaign Director for the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Michael came to this work from the investment banking world, where he has worked for such notable firms as Drexel Burnham Lambert, E. F. Hutton, and Dean Wittier. His business acumen and activist orientation has made him a powerful policy changer that is focusing on creating new bottom lines and not just changing laws.




Melissa Milam at (212) 513-8037 or Elizabeth Mendez Berry at (212) 613-8036

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