As a program associate with Vera’s Substance Use and Mental Health Program, Vedan works primarily to provide state and local jurisdictions technical assistance around the intersections of public health and criminal justice, with an emphasis on harm reduction, first episode psychosis, and strengthening community-based interventions. Since joining Vera in 2013, Vedan has worked on a number of projects, including the International Sentencing and Corrections Exchange, the Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative, and has been involved in the Center on Sentencing and Corrections’ jail reduction work. She became interested in improving justice systems after assisting with the Blackout Arts Collective’s Lyrics on Lockdown tour, a spoken word performance that visited prisons throughout the Northeast. She built on this experience by volunteering with Books through Bars, a collective that works to provide prisoners with access to education by matching their requests with donated books. Prior to joining Vera, Vedan worked for Progressive Pupil, an organization dedicated to improving access to Africana studies through the use of digital media. Vedan holds a bachelor of arts in English from Barnard College.