1 5th Annual JUSTICE CONFERENCE at Columbia University Friday, March 6, 2015 LERNER HALL A Community Collaborative Event
2 The fate of millions of people indeed the future of the black community itself may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society. If we want to do more than just end mass incarceration if we want to put an end to the history of racial caste in America we must lay down our racial bribes, join hands with people of all colors who are not content to wait for change to trickle down, and say to those who would stand in our way: Accept all of us or none. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow Prisons and prison populations are a reflection of what takes place outside of the prisons...the direct relationship constitutes the basis by which we propose that there are no prison problems, only community problems. Once we begin to address community problems, prison problems will also be addressed. -Eddie Ellis, Founder of the Center for NuLeadership
3 PROGRAM Impact Repertory Theatre Welcome The Beyond the Bars Fellows The Criminal Justice Caucus at Columbia School of Social Work The Center for Justice at Columbia University Asha Rosa Tribute to Eddie Ellis Kyung-Ji Kate Rhee and Divine Pryor Eddie Conway & Marlon Peterson Introduction to Michelle Alexander and Award from the Health Equity and Social Justice Conference Keynote Michelle Alexander Impact Repertory Theatre Hosted by Bryonn Bain This event is organized in collaboration with students, faculty and community members across New York City.
4 KEYNOTE SPEAKER Michelle Alexander Michelle Alexander peels back the curtain on systemic racism in the American prison system in the pivotal New York Timesbest-seller The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The book is considered one of the top African-American books of 2010 and won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary work of non-fiction. Alexander s presence in the national media is significant and growing, having been featured on national radio and television outlets, including NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, C-Span Washington Journal, among others. A leading voice for social justice, Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar who currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Professor Alexander was an Associate Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinic. HOST Bryonn Bain Visiting Associate Professor: Artist in Residence New York University Gallatin Bryonn Bain is a prison activist, spoken word poet, hip hop artist, actor, author and educator. Bryonn has lectured and performed at over 100 colleges and correctional facilities in the U.S., Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. After launching the Lyrics from Lockdown national prison tour/campaign (www.lyricsfrom-lockdown.com), Bain created the university course by the same name to link students at Rikers Island prison to NYU, The New School, Columbia, and has performed Lyrics from Lockdown (executive produced by Gina and Harry Belafonte) for sold-out theaters on three continents worldwide. Bain taught as a Visiting Lecturer for Harvard University s Dramatic Arts Division before he was invited to facilitate organizing the Prison Education Initiative at New York University.
5 BIOS Asha Rosa Chicago-raised Asha Rosa (CC 16) is a futurist/pessimist poet and organizer who dreams of Black liberation and world without prisons. She is a member of Students Against Mass Incarceration, Black Youth Project 100, and recently presented a report about police violence against youth of color to the UN Committee Against Torture with a collective called We Charge Genocide. Marlon Peterson Marlon is the founder and chief re-imaginator of The Precedential Group, a social justice consulting firm. He is the former Director of Community Relations at The Fortune Society, and previously served as the Associate Director of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, founding coordinator of Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets, and co-founder of How Our Lives Link Altogether (H.O.L.L.A!). Marlon also serves as board chair of Families For Freedom and board member of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. Marlon is also a member of the New York City Task Force to Combat Gun Violence. He holds an A.A.S in Criminal Justice from Ashworth University and a BS in Organizational Behavior from New York University. Eddie Conway Eddie Conway is a former member of the Black Panther Party Baltimore chapter. Wrongfully convicted of murder in 1970, he served forty three years in the Maryland prison system. During his incarceration, he played a leading role in a variety of prisoner support initiatives including the formation of the Maryland Chapter of the United Prisoner s Labor Union. As a member of the ACLU s Committee to Correct Prison Conditions, he participated in a successful class action lawsuit that reduced the prison population by 700 beds at the Maryland House of Corrections. In addition, he implemented several programs that enriched the lives of prisoners, including To Say Their Own Words, a population education program that brought prisoners together with members of the community outside of the prison, this included academics, activists and writers. Another program, Friend of a Friend, a mentoring project that promotes personal and political development now operates in several Maryland prisons and one federal facility.
6 IMPACT Repertory Theatre We are youth activists who view the creative arts and leadership training as a way to develop ourselves and change the world in a positive way. We believe that we must be the message that we bring through hard work, focus, discipline, unity and the principles of S.O.S. safe space, outstanding effort and service to our family, friends and community. Conference Schedule MARCH 6TH Friday Night Kickoff Event 7:30-9:30 p.m. Lerner Hall, Columbia University SATURDAY MARCH 7TH An Agenda for Transformative Change: Morning and Afternoon Panels 10:00 a.m. 5:15 p.m. Columbia School of Social Work SUNDAY MARCH 8TH Building the Grassroots 1:00-4:00 p.m. Columbia School of Social Work
7 The Criminal Justice Caucus The Criminal Justice Caucus seeks to provide a forum for CSSW students to access a spectrum of issues related to the social issue of criminal justice in order to build awareness, raise consciousness, and enhance practice competencies. Through the use and facilitation of film, lectures, debate, panels, and trainings, the caucus will provide essential context and information about prison expansion in the United States, in which currently one in one hundred adults is in jail or prison; about 10 million children have a parent in jail or prison; and one in nine African American men between the ages of 20 and 34 are in jail or prison. We believe it is the right and responsibility of all social work students to access critical dialogue, both inside and outside of the classroom, about the needs of people affected by incarceration; this client population crosses lines of generation, race, gender, religion, economic status, political belief, ability, sexual orientation, and otherwise. Student voices contribute to building solutions that meet the needs of people in prison, jail, on parole, on probation, victims of crime, children of incarcerated people and their families. The Beyond the Bars Fellows The Beyond the Bars Fellows form a Fellowship that creates an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of mass incarceration and social change, and to collaborate in planning this conference. This interdisciplinary leadership program brings together a diverse group of Fellows from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences to develop their leadership skills in justice work. The current Fellows come from many schools across Columbia (Social Work, Public Health, Teachers College, Law, Barnard, and Union Theological), other colleges (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, SUNY Purchase) and a variety of different community and government organizations (Fortune Society, Education Inside Out Coalition, Department of Corrections, MADE Transitional Services, Brooklyn Defender Services, National Lawyers Guild and the Bronx County Reentry Task Force). The Center for Justice at Columbia University The mission of the Center for Justice is to engage the University s many disciplines in working together with community partners to contribute towards ending mass incarceration and to support new approaches to justice and safety through education, research and policy change. It works in partnership with schools, departments, centers and institutes across Columbia, other universities, government agencies, community organizations, advocates and those directly affected by the criminal justice system. Visit centerforjustice.columbia.edu for more information. Columbia School of Social Work Columbia School of Social Work has been a leader in social work education and research since It joins rigorous academic theory with real-world practice to enhance the welfare
8 Co-Sponsors Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University School of Social Work Columbia University Students Against Mass Incarceration Criminal Justice Initiative: Supporting Children, Families and Communities Drive Change NYC Health Equity and Social Justice Conference - The 7th Annual Health Disparities Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University Social Workers Against Criminalization Students for a National Health Plan (SNaHp) The Anti-Racist Alliance The Association for Justice and Health (AJAH, Mailman) The Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University The Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) The International Social Welfare Caucus at CSSW The Mental Health Caucus at CSSW The National Association of Social Workers-NYC The Queer Caucus at CSSW The Undoing Racism Internship Project Special Thanks Associate Dean David Yam Barbara Martinsons Christina Vega Columbia University Arts and Sciences Conference Volunteers CSSW Office of Communications Dean Jeanette Takamura Elwin Wu Events Management Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman Foundation Greta Faigen Louisa Gilbert Nabila El-Bassel Office of the Provost, Columbia University The Doe Fund - The Back Office of New York The Edward S. Moore Foundation The Social Intervention Group Tow Foundation University Events Management
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