Prison and Community Outreach, Strategy
Shawn Whitsell is a volunteer teacher and facilitator with the School for Alternative Learning and Transformation at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, TN. Shawn proudly serves on the Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board and is a member of the Criminal Justice Working Group of Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH). He is also a part of the Nashville New Leaders Council class of 2020. Shawn is widely known in his community as an activist, poet, filmmaker, theatre artist and founder of the Destiny Theatre Experience. He has written, produced and directed a number of theatrical works that address pertinent social issues, ranging from police brutality, mental health and domestic violence to homelessness, childhood trauma and mass incarceration. His one-man show "23/1," which tackles solitary confinement, was recently named Best Blend of Theater and Activism by the Nashville Scene. When he's not performing, Shawn visits high school and college English classes, teaching literacy through spoken word, as a representative of the nonprofit organization Southern Word, Inc. He also teaches drama for Nashville Children's Theatre and Tennessee Women's Theater Project.