February 28, 2021
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Zahara Green is a transgender rights activist, prison abolitionist, environmentalist, and currently studying Pre-law at Clayton State University. They are also the executive director of a Black Trans-led non-profit organization that serves the transgender and gender non-conforming community in Georgia called TRANScending Barriers Atlanta. Green also works as the Board President of the prison abolitionist organization Black & Pink, Inc. and as a consultant for the National PREA Resource Center, working to end sexual abuse in confinement.
Green left home at 16 years old, and was arrested for shoplifting at 19. They faced an all-white jury in a rural county in Georgia, and pled guilty, as they said they knew would be convicted for being non-binary and transgender. Green was forced into a male prison and while incarcerated, was targeted and assaulted by other incarcerated people and by the officers. Under the guise of “protective custody”, they were locked in solitary confinement for most of their time in prison. Many incarcerated transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people were put in Special Housing Units by the police officers, which often meant locking them in solitary confinement. A study by Black & Pink, Inc. reported that out of nearly 1,200 LGBTQ+ people who were formerly incarcerated, 85 percent of them had to spend time in solitary confinement.
While incarcerated, Green began their advocacy for transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people, fighting the injustices they and others incarcerated faced daily by filing grievances, wrote letters, and began working on impact litigation. After their release, Green went into retail management, experiencing challenges within the workforce along the way, as many formerly incarcerated people do. They then established TRANScending Barriers Atlanta, became Board President of Black & Pink, Inc., and consultant for the National PREA Resource Center. Green continues to work towards the liberation of Black transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people, fighting to make sure they all have a place in the world.