Dana Vickers Shelley is inside of a school library and holding a sign that says, "I read banned books." She is holding a copy of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Dana has short gray and black hair, is wearing cat-eye glasses and earings, and is smiling.


Executive Director



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Dana Vickers Shelley brings strategic communications and political advocacy expertise, plus a lifelong commitment to racial justice, to her leadership of the ACLU of Maryland. In Dana’s nearly five years at ACLU-MD, the organization developed its first strategic plan, prioritizing education equity, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, individual autonomy, government and police accountability, and making the state’s legal justice system more equitable. She leads a 30-person team of attorneys, organizers, communicators, and policy strategists who are working with communities in every region of the state to empower Marylanders to exercise their rights so the law values and uplifts their humanity.
Before ACLU, Dana advised numerous national and local organizations, including the NAACP, Annie E. Casey Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Black Entertainment Television (BET) Networks, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Nike, and S.C. Johnson. She developed national partnerships with Black, Indigenous, and Latinx journalist organizations to raise awareness of structural racism and disparities in family regulation systems. Her public affairs background includes senior leadership positions with Edelman, Fenton, Black Enterprise Magazine, and in the Clinton Administration.  
Dana earned a Master of Public Administration degree from American University's Key Executive Leadership Program, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Originally from the Midwest, Dana lives in Baltimore County, Maryland.

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