Sakira Cook is director of the justice reform program of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human
Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. The Leadership Conference is a coalition
charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the
civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. At The Leadership Conference and The
Education Fund, Cook leads the development of the justice reform programs policy agenda and
coordinates the programs communications, organizing, and policy advocacy strategies for a broad
coalition of civil and human rights groups. The justice reform program works to advance transformative
policy solutions that eliminate structural inequity, racism, and injustice at every stage of the criminal legal
system – from policing and pretrial justice, to sentencing and incarceration, to reentry.
Cook is also engaged in human rights advocacy at the United Nations and with the federal government,
including promoting the U.S. ratification of important human rights treaties, monitoring domestic
implementation of U.S. human rights commitments under the Universal Periodic Review, Convention on
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and International Covenant on Civil Political Rights, and
advancing the established goals and outcomes of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
Prior to joining The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund, Cook served as a legal and research
fellow at the Open Society Policy Center, focusing on criminal, civil, and racial justice reform. Cook
attended Howard University where she earned a B.A. in International Business and Management, and
Wayne State University Law School where she earned her J.D.
Dec 20, 2019
A Fair Chance at Opportunity: The U.S. Government Bans the Box