SHARADA JAMBULAPATI is the daughter of Indian immigrants who came to the United States in search of educational opportunities for their children. Her family struggled to acclimate to the Deep South as her father worked as the only immigrant farmer in the region and her mother shuffled between jobs as a factory seamstress, janitor, and nanny.
Growing up on a farm in rural Georgia, Sharada experienced the complex web of dependence, racial backlash, and willful ignorance of the immigrant experience, which instilled Sharada with a deep commitment to pursue civil rights and racial justice work in the Deep South. At Stanford University, she deepened her passion for community organizing and activism. She mentored high school youth with their college applications, created awareness on campus about immigrant human rights, and researched the civil rights abuses of immigration enforcement programs.
After college, she worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center as a John Gardner Public Service Fellow. She advocated with those in the Deep South who are often forgotten, neglected, or even despised: immigrant children and young people convicted of crimes. She investigated civil rights abuses for legal complaints that aimed to improve jail conditions for children, highlight the disparate impact of zero tolerance school policies, and increase school access for undocumented students.
Today, Sharada is pursuing a JD at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. By working at the intersection of the immigration and criminal justice systems, Sharada hopes to continue civil rights advocacy and racial justice work on the behalf of historically underserved minority communities in the South.