Eva Nagao was born in Maryland, educated in North Carolina, and works with community organizers around the country. After living in Chicago for ten years, she recently stepped down as the Managing Director of the Exoneration Project—a pro bono legal clinic at the University of Chicago—where she worked with a team that freed dozens of wrongfully convicted individuals (including the first mass exoneration in Illinois).

Outside her nine-to-fives, Eva focuses on grassroots movements that draw attention to the inhumanity of mass incarceration while also working to create community-based structures that decrease reliance on policing and punishment.

Always fascinated with history and mass incarceration, she now lives in Los Angeles, exploring the city where her family first put down roots in the US—before World War II and again after the Japanese internment.


In The Community

2019: Executive Board, NLG - LA

2019: Member, Critical Resistance LA & California Coalition for Women Prisoners

2015 - 2018: Co-Founder & Steering Committee Member, Liberation Library

2015: Collective Member, We Charge Genocide & the People’s Response Team

2013: Coordinator, “C” is for Civil Rights Children’s Book Club

2012 - 2015: Research & Curatorial Assistant, Project Nia

2011-2012: Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, The Chicago Freedom School

2011: Coordinator, Cradle 2 Prison Zine Workshop Series

2011: Member, Chicago PIC Teaching Collective

Previous Work

2014 - 2018: Managing Director of the Exoneration Project

2016: Co-host of Unlocking the Truth” for MTV

2014: Ethnographer with the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention

2009 - 2013: Paralegal at Loevy & Loevy, A Civil Rights Law Firm

2008 - 2009: Program Coordinator with the Mexico–U.S. Solidarity Network


Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina

B.A. in Sociology, May 2008