Shanelle Matthews is an award-winning, results-oriented, creative senior communications strategist with content expertise across issue areas. She engineers the development, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive strategic communications plans aimed at internally and externally communicating an organizations, individuals or movements values, goals, and agenda. She has demonstrated success in legislative, litigation, rapid response, and campaign communications.
As an alumna of Progressive Women’s Voices, the Women’s Media Center’s premier media and leadership training program for women, Matthews has served as a spokesperson in outlets like Al Jazeera, CNN, and NPR. Her writing can be found in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Ebony Magazine, The Root (Washington Post affiliate), Women’s eNews, The Frisky, xoJane, Colorlines, and Clutch Magazine among others.
Matthews currently serves as a the Lead Communications Strategist for the Black Lives Matter National Network, Black Lives Matter is an international network of more than 30 chapters working to rebuild the black liberation movement and affirm the lives of all black people - specifically black women, queer and trans people, people who are differently abled, and those who are undocumented and formerly incarcerated.We focus on those marginalized within black liberation movements, imposing a call to action and response to state-sanctioned violence against black people, as well as the virulent anti-black racism that permeates our society.
Before this, Matthews served as the Deputy Communications Director for the Sierra Club. In that role, she provided high-level strategic communications vision and support for the Sierra Club’s flagship campaign, Beyond Coal. Beyond Coal is a grassroots effort touted as one of the most successful climate justice campaigns in history and has an ambitious but imminent goal of closing, or transitioning to cleaner energy, half of the nation's coal fleet by 2017.
Before the Sierra Club, Matthews served as a Strategist for the ACLU where she engineered the development, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive strategic communications plans aimed at internally and externally communicating the organization’s goals in the areas of reproductive justice and LGBT rights. Before the ACLU, she served as the Communications Manager for Forward Together. There she advanced the infrastructure for their burgeoning communications work and served as the primary spokesperson for the organization.
Matthews serves on the board of directors of the National Network of Abortion Funds and RH Reality Check. She holds a degree in Journalism and New and Online Media from the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University.
She is a lover of cheese, Miles Davis, and bourbon and lives and plays in Oakland, CA.
Follow Shanelle on Twitter @TheShanelleM.
The Soapbox: Is "Orange Is The New Black" Entertainment Or Education?
The Frisky [August 20, 2013]
Roe v. Wade, 40 years later
Al Jazeera [January 28, 2013]
The Soapbox: On #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen; Feminism Is Not Black And White
The Frisky [August 13, 2013]
The sacrifices I was raised on: how empathy brings us closer to a radical politic of family
Feminisiting [May 10, 2013]
The Black Lives Matter Movement's Political Moment
The Atlantic [July 3, 2016]
Black Lives Matter pulls out of San Francisco gay pride over policing
The Guardian [June 24, 2016]
Louisiana Moves To Extend Hate Crime Protection For Police Officers
NPR [May 25, 2016]