About Prasanna

Prasanna Ranganathan is a sought-after diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) leader, advisor and consultant; accessibility advisor; published writer; professional speaker; social media strategist; trainer and facilitator; interviewer; correspondent and columnist; documentary/docu-series producer; human rights investigator; and former lawyer with extensive international experience.

Prasanna has over 16 years of experience in DEIB and accessibility, working on DEIB in the legal profession, judicial appointments, public safety, the entertainment industry, and tech, as a consultant and within organizations. Most recently, he served as the Head of Diversity and Belonging at Shopify, building the company’s Global DEIB Strategy, creating DEIB programs, and leading a team of leads and specialists in DEIB data collection, DEIB learning, Talent systems, internal and external community building, partnerships, and storytelling.

He is a Consulting Producer on the 2021 docuseries Born for Business about entrepreneurs with disabilities (currently airing on NBC Peacock and Crave Canada) and an Associate Producer on the 2016 documentary film Dream, Girl about women entrepreneurs that premiered at the Obama White House. A social media strategist and red carpet correspondent, Prasanna has covered the red carpets at the 2019 Academy Awards and the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and designed social media campaigns for Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, DreamWorks, and Sony Pictures.

Prasanna has over 13 years of experience in human rights law and international development. He served as Senior Legal Counsel to the Honourable Justice Michael Tulloch on the Independent Street Checks Review and worked as Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice Canada and Senior Special Advisor at Federal Judicial Affairs Canada in the areas of human rights, international judicial reform, technical legal assistance, and judicial appointments. In these roles with the Government of Canada, Prasanna designed and managed justice sector reform programs in Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Mexico, and Ukraine. After clerking at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, Prasanna worked as a lawyer in private practice at MacPherson, Leslie and Tyerman LLP, with the Canadian Bar Association Young Lawyers Program and the United Nations in Ethiopia, and at the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.

Proudly claiming his identity as an LGBTQ2+ racialized person with a disability (Prasanna is legally blind with a degenerative eye condition), Prasanna is a seasoned speaker on DEIB and accessibility, providing the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) inclusion and accessibility workshop for all staff members, speaking at the TIFF Industry Conference, presenting on a panel at Masai Ujiri’s Giants of Africa Inclusive Leadership Forum, speaking on Parliament Hill at the Elevate International Summit, giving keynotes at the Global PR Summit and Social @ Home Conference, and delivering guest lectures at the University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on inclusive storytelling.

Prasanna is a screen time columnist for CBC Radio, a published writer with written work appearing in HuffPost and CBC Online, and a co-author of the 2022 vegetarian cookbook Made with Prema with his mother Prema Ranganathan, published by Rupi Kaur and Rakhi Mutta under their special project Likhari Authors. All of the profits from the cookbook will go to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. He is a founding board member of the Disability Screen Office (designed to make the screen industry more accessible and inclusive to persons with disabilities), a past board member of the Inside/Out Film Festival (the largest LGBTQ+ film festival in Canada), and a recent delegate of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

Prasanna holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Studies and French from the University of Saskatchewan, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Columbia Law School where he studied as a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar, graduating with highest honors as a James Kent Scholar. Prasanna’s LL.M. graduate thesis and research on international human rights law was cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2014.

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