Meet Shekar

Shekar Krishnan is a community activist and civil rights lawyer specializing in fighting housing discrimination and preventing community displacement.

Shekar has devoted his career to serving the most vulnerable communities in New York City. His advocacy has focused on amplifying the voices of those so frequently unheard and unseen by powerful institutions and on organizing for dignified and just treatment for communities of color. Shekar’s fierce commitment to fighting alongside those most affected by injustice, and his extensive work combating systemic inequality in our city, form the core of his advocacy.

Shekar is the son of immigrants from South India who made enormous sacrifices and worked tirelessly to build a life for their family in this country. After their arrival here, it was 74th Street in Jackson Heights where they would come to buy their groceries and essentials for their bare apartment. It was the only place that reminded them of home 10,000 miles away.

A History of Service

Shekar has spent years fighting alongside our community as an advocate and parent. He has organized with his neighbors around a number of critical community initiatives, including:

  • educating immigrant tenants on their housing rights; 
  • fighting for racial justice and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline; 
  • coordinating the collection and delivery of PPE directly to the frontline workers at Elmhurst Hospital at the height of the pandemic; 
  • standing with the LGBTQIA+ community to root out hate and intolerance;
  • advocating for safer streets for children and seniors; 
  • demanding far more public school funding; and
  • mobilizing to protect and expand vital park space in Jackson Heights.

Shekar has spent years fighting alongside our community as an advocate and parent. He has organized with his neighbors around a number of critical community initiatives, including:

 

  • educating immigrant tenants on their housing rights;

     

  • fighting for racial justice and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline;

     

  • coordinating the collection and delivery of PPE directly to the frontline workers at Elmhurst Hospital at the height of the pandemic;

     

  • standing with the LGBTQIA+ community to root out hate and intolerance;

     

  • advocating for safer streets for children and seniors;

     

  • demanding far more public school funding; and

     

  • mobilizing to protect and expand vital park space in Jackson Heights.

    FRIENDS OF DIVERSITY PLAZA

    He co-founded Friends of Diversity Plaza. Located on the border of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, Diversity Plaza has become a national symbol of how public space can bring people together. It now serves a critical function in neighborhood organizing efforts and building solidarity across communities. Shekar has also engaged in inclusive political organizing and grassroots community dialogue in support of progressive causes.

    By day, Shekar is the co-founder of Communities Resist, a legal services organization highly acclaimed citywide for its community-rooted, intersectional approach to housing and racial justice in North Brooklyn and Queens. He represents tenants and neighborhood coalitions in fair housing litigation and anti-displacement advocacy in some of the most gentrified neighborhoods in NYC. Shekar began his legal career with the landmark Broadway Triangle fair housing struggle against the City of New York, a successful fair housing case challenging the rezoning of one of the largest plots of vacant land in Brooklyn.

    Shekar is also a father of two small children, who can often be seen biking or scooting up and down the open 34th Avenue, and husband to Zoe, an immigration public defender and reproductive justice advocate.

    Over years of grassroots work with the community and legal battles as part of larger movements, Shekar has relentlessly fought for justice and equality for those most often neglected and mistreated by government. Shekar will bring community-rooted perspective and tenacious advocacy to the City Council to fight alongside our communities for the systemic and visionary change we need so that everyone — workers, immigrants, families, and seniors — can thrive.