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"Director Gilda Sheppard is a gifted teacher, incisive scholar, committed activist, and a talented filmmaker who's dedicated her life to the education and liberation of poor and oppressed people -- especially black people in the era of mass incarceration.  We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her brilliant work and steadfast commitment to justice.” - Michelle Alexander, Civil Rights Attorney; Author “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”

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Evergreen State College

Gilda Sheppard, PhD is a faculty Emerita Professor of Sociology, Cultural and Media Studies at Evergreen State College in Tacoma, Washington. Sheppard has taught internationally at Universities in Ghana, West Africa: Ashesi University (2020) and University of Cape Coast, Ghana (1995). In 2022 Dr. Sheppard was invited by the American Embassy of Ghana and the African American Association of Ghana to conduct filmmaking workshops for Ghanaian filmmakers and to screen her film Since I Been Down. at the Cultural Center in Accra Ghana.

For over a decade, Dr. Sheppard has volunteered to teach sociology courses in several women's and men’s prisons in Washington State. Her work has culminated in an award-winning documentary Since I Been Down, on the restorative and transformative role of education and prisoner-initiated programs for incarcerated individuals. Sheppard is one of the founders of the first academic educational programs at Washington State Correctional Center for Women: Freedom Education Project for Puget Sound (FEPPS).

Sheppard is also a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation research fellowship at University of Georgia and 2022 recipient of the Chicken and Egg Project Hatched fellowship on documentary filmmaking.

Her work has been praised by the Washington State Supreme Court, community organizations, City and State Legislators and inspired a multi-faith coalition of Christians, Jews, and Muslims to support prison reform and abolition.

Gilda Sheppard behind a camera directing
Gilda Sheppard teaching at The Evergreen State College
poster for Gilda Sheppard ghana workshop
Since I Been Down film directed by Gilda Sheppard poster

"Gilda is a true gem - an educator and filmaker whose impact on students is nothing short of magnificent. Those who have taken her classes at The Evergreen State College praise her charisma and her downright unfiltered truth-telling" - Vivian Phillips in the Seattle Medium

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