Oliver Telusma is a spoken word poet, public speaker and Juris Doctorate Candidate at the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando, Florida. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida in 2018, where he worked as a research coordinator for the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program for two years. His writing and work focus on critiquing legal and political systems of power that target marginalized communities, life as a member of the Black diaspora, Black male vulnerability, allyship from other marginalized identities, the American and global South, and the occasional rap freestyle.
In a professional capacity, he has provided legal advocacy work on both the trial and federal appellate levels. He currently serves as a research intern for the People For an American Way, performing research and publishing analysis of legal decisions made by federal appeals judges appointed since January 2017 under PFAW fellow Elliot Mincberg. He also serves as an intern at the Office of the Federal Defender of the Middle District in the Orlando office, assisting federal trial and appeals defenders in their representation of indigent and marginalized clients charged with federal crimes. In the summer of 2018, he was an intern at NeJame Law in Orlando.
His previous advocacy experience also includes being a Young People For fellow, which provided him logistical support through his research role at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program in his efforts to create a more equitable campus at the University of Florida.
As a public speaker and performer, he has spoken at over two dozen events and conferences across the country ranging from Oakland, California to Washington, D.C.