Bria Nelson

Researcher and Advocate, Racial Justice and Equity

Bria Nelson is a Researcher and Advocate on Racial Justice and Equity Issues with the US Program.  Bria is an attorney and concentrates their research on racial justice and equity issues across the US, with a particular focus on reparations for enslavement and its legacies. USP utilizes a racial justice lens in all three of its major priorities – criminal justice, immigration and border policy, and democracy - and Bria's efforts will expand the breadth of that work across additional areas to address how race intersects with myriad human rights and social justice concerns in the US, through our deep partner engagement with the most impacted people.

Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Bria worked as a legal fellow at the ACLU of Kansas on death penalty defense litigation in collaboration with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project.  During law school, Bria also worked with the ACLU of Kansas advocating for prisoner and voting rights, and at the NAACP Legal and Defense and Educational Fund, ACLU Capital Punishment Project, and Disability Rights Center of Kansas engaging in multiple avenues of advocacy for change and improvement of peoples’ lives.  As a movement lawyer, Bria has also worked to mobilize response and advocacy after the public murder of George Floyd, including undergoing an intensive fellowship training program with Law for Black Lives, an organization focused on grounding movements in Black queer feminism, abolition, and anticapitalism.