Azadeh N. Shahshahani
Azadeh N. Shahshahani is an American human rights attorney based in Atlanta. She is Legal & Advocacy Director for Project South. She previously served as president of the National Lawyers Guild and director of the National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia.
Early life and education
Shahshahani was born in Tehran, a few days after the 1979 Iranian Revolution . She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she served as article editor for the Michigan Journal of International Law. Shahshahani also has a master's degree in Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the University of Michigan.
Shahshahani has worked for a number of years in the US South to protect the human rights of immigrants and Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities. She is the author or editor of several human rights reports, including a 2017 report, Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Immigrant Detention Centers in Georgia, co-produced by Project South and the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic. Shahshahani has appeared on Democracy Now! and BBC, and has been quoted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the Guardian, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and other outlets.
Through the National Lawyers Guild, Shahshahani has participated in international delegations, including to post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt, election monitoring delegations to Venezuela and Honduras, as well as people’s tribunals focused on the Philippines, Mexico, and Brazil as a member of the jury.
Shahshahani serves as Chair of Georgia Detention Watch, Co-chair of the US Human Rights Network Working Group on National Security, and on the Advisory Council of the American Association of Jurists. She previously served as Chair of Refugee Women's Network and as Co-chair of the American Bar Association Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Committee on the Rights of Immigrants.
Shahshahani writes frequently for various national and international publications such as the Nation, the Guardian, Al-Jazeera, the Huffington Post, Salon, and JURIST on a range of issues pertaining to immigrants' rights, discrimination and state surveillance targeting Muslim communities, and foreign policy.
Awards and honors
Shahshahani is the recipient of the 2017 US Human Rights Network Human Rights Movement Builder Award, Georgia Women's Action for New Directions 2016 Peace and Justice Award, the American Immigration Lawyers Association 2012 Advocacy Award, and the University of Georgia Law School 2009 Equal Justice Foundation Public Interest Practitioner Award. She has also been recognized as one of 100 Influential Georgia Muslims, as an attorney "On the Rise" by the Fulton County Daily Report, and among 18 Muslim Women who made a difference in 2017 by the website MuslimGirl. In 2016, she was chosen by the Mundo Hispanico Newspaper as a "Personaje Destacado del Año" (Outstanding Person of the Year,) for her activism on behalf of the Latino community and defending the rights of immigrants in Georgia. In 2017, she was chosen by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the 40 under 40 notable Georgians.
- Local Police Entanglement with Immigration Enforcement in Georgia. Cardozo Law Review de•novo, 2017.
- No Papers? You Can’t Have Water: A Critique of Localities’ Denial of Utilities to Undocumented Immigrants. Emory International Law Review, 2017 (co-authored with Kathryn Madison).
- Indiscriminate Power: Racial Profiling and Surveillance Since 9/11. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, 2015 (co-authored with Carlos Torres and Tye Tavaras).
- Immigration and Racial Profiling. Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense. 3rd & 4th editions, August 2010 and June 2015.
- Challenging the Practice of Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention in Georgia and Beyond. CUNY Law Review, 2014 (co-authored with Natasha El-Sergany)
- Shattered Dreams: An Analysis of the Georgia Board of Regents' Admissions Ban from a Constitutional and International Human Rights Perspective. Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal, 2013 (co-authored with Chaka Washington)
- The legacy of US intervention and the Tunisian revolution: promises and challenges one year on. Interface. Volume 4 (1): 67 - 101, May 2012 (co-authored with Corinna Mullin)
- Reflections on the Occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of September 11. Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts. Volume 4, Number 3, 2011
- Reflections. SHIFTING BALANCE SHEETS Women's Stories of Naturalized Citizenship & Cultural Attachment. July 1, 2011
- "Fixin' to Go Mainstream: Asian Americans are on the rise in Southern politics". Hyphen Magazine. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- Quigley, Bill (2016-05-31). "From Tehran to Atlanta, Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani Fighting for Human Rights". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
- "From Tehran to Atlanta: Social Justice Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani's Fight for Human Rights". Counterpunch. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
- Meet 3 female human rights lawyers fighting for change worldwide
- "AILA Presents Azadeh Shahshahani with the 2012 Advocacy Award". AILA. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- "Muslim woman, Douglasville settle lawsuit over her hijab". www.ajc.com. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- "Feds Pay Thousands For Wrongful Deportation". Gpb.org. 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- MundoHispanico, issue #1316, October 6–12, 2016.