"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 Bed Stuy, where the cool of beautiful inner-city life barely survived the crippling caused by crack cocaine. She is a black, Queer and poverty-born Womynxst, Felon and former police prosecutor.
As a prosecutor, Nicole prosecuted hundreds of domestic violence cases ranging from misdemeanor assault to homicide. Nicole later went on to prosecute police as New York City’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 is also puts pen-to-paper to capture the journeys of around-the-block black girls. Her writing has appeared in Gay Magazine (Roxane Gay’s platform with Medium), For Harriet, The Feminist Wire and Rigorous Magazine. Nicole is a 2019 New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellow and Geri Ashur Fellow for Screenwriting, a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow and a 2019 Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) Fellow. She is also the Inaugural Resident Literary Curator for Cafe con Libros - Brooklyn’s Feminist Bookstore. Nicole has participated in residencies and workshops hosted by the Hurston/Wright Foundation, African Voices, Black Film Space, Wildacres, the Black TV & Film Collective, Vanessa Martir, and Nicole Dennis-Benn. She is a 2019 NeON Arts Artist Grant recipient and a 2018 Brooklyn Arts Nonfiction Prize finalist. Nicole's currently completing Cracked Concrete: Girlhood Amid Crackheads, Cousins & Crews, a coming of age memoir, 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 centered around the counter-narratives of POC, QPOC and LGBTQIA+ storytellers.
When not writing, Nicole is the Director of Operations at The Weekend Soiree, a Queer womxn of color-owned start-up that curates local & destination celebrations for Queer womxn across the country.