"When you abandon the notion that your wounds are not entitled to words, you talk a whole lot different. Shit, you walk a whole lot different, too."
- Nicole Shawan Junior
Nicole Shawan Junior (Smith College BA | Pace University MST | Temple University JD) was bred in the bass-heavy beat and scratch of Brooklyn, where the cool of beautiful inner-city life barely survived cripplings caused by crack cocaine. She is a black, Queer and poverty-born counter-storyteller, Felon and former police prosecutor.
As a lawyer, Nicole prosecuted hundreds of domestic violence cases ranging from misdemeanor assault to homicide. Nicole later went on to prosecute police as the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board’s Deputy Chief Police Prosecutor. In that role, she prosecuted police officers for a range of offenses that spanned from abuse of authority to excessive use of force. Nicole was the first civilian attorney to prosecute a member of the NYPD. She also led the investigations and prosecutions of excessive use of force against NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, tennis star James Blake and postal worker Glenn Grays. After practicing law for a decade, Nicole caught a case, ushering her into a Felon.
Today, Nicole not only works to destigmatize and remove the shame from what it is to be a Felon, but she also puts pen-to-paper to capture the journeys of around-the-block black girls. Her writing has appeared in Gay Mag (Roxane Gay’s platform with Medium), For Harriet, The Feminist Wire, Rigorous Magazine, and more. Nicole is the 2019 NYFA Geri Ashur Fellow for Screenwriting, as well as a Hurston/Wright and Bread Loaf alum. She’s received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Lambda Literary and Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA). She is also the Inaugural Resident Literary Curator for Cafe con Libros - Brooklyn’s Feminist Bookstore. Nicole’s work has received support from Kweli, African Voices, VONA Across the Country, Black Film Space, Wildacres, the Black TV & Film Collective, Vanessa Martir’s Writing Our Lives, and Nicole Dennis-Benn’s Stuyvesant Writing Workshop. She is a 2019 NeON Arts Teaching Artist Grant recipient and a 2018 Brooklyn Arts Nonfiction Prize finalist. Nicole's currently completing Cracked Concrete: A Memoir of Crackheads, Cousins & Crime and Block Girls, a play that examines the #MeToo movement in the context of hood-born womynx of color. A filmmaker, Nicole directed and co-produced the documentary short, Boundless: A Celebration of Black Women. She also co-produced the YouTube web series, This. That. & the Third. Nicole is currently bringing her short film, To Touch A Moth, to production.
Nicole is the creator of the Roots. Wounds. Words. Writing Workshop for Womynx. She’s also the heart behind COUNTERpult - NYC’s only reading series that centers QT/BIPoC storytellers.