Monisha Harrell (she/her), a Seattle native, is Board Chair for Equal Rights Washington and chairs the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. Monisha has served as a fellow for Lifelong AIDS Alliance, co-chair of the Capitol Hill LGBTQ Public Safety Task Force, an appointee to the City of Seattle’s 2017 search committee for the new Director of Police Accountability, and co-chair for the De-Escalate Washington campaign committee (I-940) requiring de-escalation training for all law enforcement officers in Washington State in 2018. The Stranger named Monisha one of “The Smartest People in Seattle Politics” in 2013, and she was most recently honored as the Greater Seattle Business Association’s Community Leader of the Year for 2018. As Chair of Equal Rights Washington, Monisha has helped lead work to ban conversion therapy for minors in Washington State, pass an updated Uniform Parentage Act to support LGBTQ families, and ban trans panic and gay panic as legal defenses for violence against the LGBTQ community. Harrell was recently appointed (July 2020) by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on a task force to provide recommendations for legislation on independent investigations involving police use of force, and recently completed work (June 2020) as a member of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Hate Crime Advisory Working Group. In 2019, Monisha participated in a leadership exchange program with the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) supporting LGBTQ community advancement in both Thailand and Malaysia. Monisha owns and operates a small marketing firm, Rule Seven, focused on community-driven outreach and engagement. She has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and an MBA from the University of Washington Foster School of Business. In 2017, Monisha was named The University of Washington Consulting and Business Development Center’s Alumni of the Year.
The LGBTQ+ "Panic" Defense: How to Ban it in Your State