Eliana Green

  • Hosted by Root & Rebound Reentry Advocates
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Service location Oakland, California
  • Law school Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
  • Issue area Criminal Records Relief
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Eliana worked to protect and restore the rights of survivors of the War on Drugs and mass incarceration through legal clinics, public education, corporate partnerships, and policy advocacy led by impacted people.

In the 50 years since Nixon’s announcement of the War on Drugs, the political campaign has severely damaged Black communities through mass incarceration, economic dilapidation, state-sanctioned violence, and the reduction of community resources. Eliana’s project focused on providing civil legal aid to individuals with conviction histories to help them obtain economic justice while helping to remove the actual systems that contribute to these injustices.

Fellowship Highlights

During her two-year Fellowship, Eliana:

  • Collaborated with Viola cannabis brand, a Black-owned multi-state operator, to author a 100-page Know Your Rights toolkit titled A New Leaf: A How-to Guide for Successful Reentry After a Cannabis Conviction, which serves as a self-help guide for folks with drug-related convictions in all stages of reentry. Eliana also hosted community legal trainings on the content of the toolkit.
  • Hosted corporate legal compliance trainings for cannabis employers to teach them how to respect the rights of criminal justice-impacted applicants under California’s Ban the Box legislation.
  • Engaged in policy work to advocate for the decriminalization of drugs and creation of expungement laws through her participation in coalitions such as Drug Policy Alliance’s Federal Cannabis Regulations Working Group. She also had the privilege of educating legislators on best practices for decriminalization and expungements through speaking engagements, including serving as a panelist at the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s Federal Policy Forum.
  • Directly represented individuals with drug-related convictions in expungement hearings and administrative hearings against state licensing boards who denied applicants an occupational license. Eliana was the first attorney in California to argue for client relief under a newly enacted law, AB2138, which prohibited certain boards from denying licensure due to an expunged conviction.
  • Collaborated with her sponsors on reentry clinics – serving 90 clients – and legal research projects.

Next Steps

After her Fellowship, Eliana will continue to advocate for the rights of survivors of the War on Drugs in a leadership position with The Hood Incubator and through her own independent consulting for NGOs and government agencies. The Hood Incubator leverages the legal cannabis industry as a model for healing and equity through economic development, community organizing, and policy advocacy. This is Eliana’s dream job as it is a national, Black-led grassroots organization committed to building a movement for cannabis justice so every Black person can generate wealth, health, and prosperity for their communities.


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Meet Other Fellows Like Eliana

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Mihal Ansik

Host: A New Way of Life Reentry Project

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

C. Daniel Bowes

Host: North Carolina Justice Center

Sponsor: ALM

Lauryn Barbosa Findley

Host: Northern California Innocence Project

Sponsor: Fenwick & West LLP

Current Fellow

Mark Birhanu

Host: Raise the Floor Alliance

Sponsor: Anonymous