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Charles Shaw is a regular contributor to Reality Sandwich and the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir, Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics & Spirituality (2012 Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press) which ran as an exclusive series on Reality Sandwich during 2010.
Charles is the Director of the The Exile Nation Project: An Oral History of the War on Drugs & The American Criminal Justice System. He serves as Editor for the openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum and the Dictionary of Ethical Politics, both collaborative projects of Resurgence, openDemocracy, and the Tedworth Charitible Trust.
Charles' work has appeared in Alternet, Alternative Press Review, Conscious Choice, Common Ground, Grist, Guardian UK, Guerrilla News Network, Huffington Post, In These Times, Newtopia, The New York Times, openDemocracy, Planetizen, Punk Planet, Reality Sandwich, San Diego Uptown News, Scoop, Shift, Truthout, The Witness, YES!, and Znet. He was a Contributing Author to the 2008 Shift Report from the Institute for Noetic Sciences, and in Planetizen's Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning (2007, Island Press). In 2009 he was recognized by the San Diego Press Club for excellence in journalism.
Charles is the former Editorial Director of Conscious Enlightenment Publishing (Conscious Choice, Common Ground, Whole Life Times, and Seattle's Conscious Choice), the founder and publisher of Newtopia, former head writer for the nationally syndicated radio show Reality Checks, former Senior Staff Writer for The Next American City, and a Contributing Editor for Worldchanging.
His activist work has been featured in Democracy NOW!, WLS-ABC 7 (Chicago), Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, In These Times, Metroland NY, Knight Ridder, TimeOUT Chicago, and the Washington Post. He served as an official with the Green Party of the US and IDEAL Reform (Illinois Drug Education and Legislation), an organizer for the Chicago Social Forum and BioEthics 2006, as a judge for “Drug Reporting” in the 2006 AltWeekly Awards, and on the Host Committee for the 2007 Chicago Green Festival and the Advisory Council for the Green Street Project, a capacity and community building initiative between the City of Chicago and the not-for-profit sector.
A native of Chicago, he lives on the West Coast...for now.