Eva Nagao was born in Maryland, educated in North Carolina, and caught the traveling bug wandering throughout Mexico studying art, autonomy, and tacos. 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 men and women (including the first mass exoneration in Illinois).

Outside her nine-to-fives, Eva focuses on grassroots organizing that draws 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 incarceration, she now lives in Los Angeles, California where her Japanese family first put down roots in the US before they were interned during World War II.


In The Community

2018: Member with the Legal Observer Committee at NLG - LA

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

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

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

2012 - 2015: Research/Curatorial Assistant for Project Nia

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

2011: Coordinator for the Cradle 2 Prison Zine Workshop Series

2011: Member of the 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