FRRC Executive Director Desmond Meade Granted Honorary Doctorate Degree From Bard College

Desmond Meade

ORLANDO – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is excited to announce that its Executive Director, Desmond Meade, has been granted an honorary doctorate from Bard College. Bard College offers college classes to people incarcerated under its Bard Prison Initiative (BPI).

Meade was granted the prestigious recognition because of his extraordinary work with criminal justice reform and Amendment 4, a grassroots citizen’s initiative which restored voting rights to over 1.4 million Floridians with past felony convictions in 2018.

Bard College officially hooded Meade at its commencement earlier this month in New York at Eastern Correctional Facility, where he was the keynote speaker. Sixty-three incarcerated students were awarded degrees during the ceremony.

Meade said, “Education in prison is pivotal for returning citizens and can change the trajectory of someone’s life. Bard College is making a difference in our community and preparing returning citizens to be viable tax paying citizens once they return to their communities.”

Bard says students at BPI are held to the same standards as all Bard College students, and undergo a selective admission process, and enroll full-time in the same courses they would on Bard’s main campus.

ABOUT DESMOND MEADE – Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, a graduate of Florida International University College of Law, a Ford Global Fellow, and a 2021 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. Time Magazine also recognized him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2019.

ABOUT FLORIDA RIGHTS RESTORATION COALITION – Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is a grassroots, membership organization run primarily by returning citizens (formerly convicted persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. For more information, visit