Race in the Public Dialogue: Understanding Criminal Justice Reform
Khalil G. Muhammad, professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (The Condemnation of Blackness), Keeonna Harris, Ph.D. Candidate at Arizona State University and PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow, and Michael Curry, Esq., former president of the Boston Branch of the NAACP will lead a conversation on the present state and future of criminal justice reform and mass incarceration in light of the passage by Congress of the federal First Step Act, a fairly comprehensive criminal justice reform bill passed with bipartisan support. Panelists will include a wide range of voices who participate in the public debate on critical issues related to mass incarceration.
All events will be held at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy Street. There will be a reception from 5:30-6:30, the program will run from 6:30-7:30.
The Public Dialogue Series on Freedom, Justice, and Race presented by PEN America and the Boston Museum of African American History is made possible by the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad is professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. He is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. Before leading the Schomburg Center, Khalil was an Associate Professor at Indiana University. Khalil’s scholarship examines the broad intersections of race, democracy, inequality and criminal justice in modern U.S. history.
Keeonna Harris is a writer, storyteller, mother of five, prison abolitionist, activist, and 2018-2019 PEN America Writing forJustice Fellow. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at Arizona State University finishing her dissertation Everybody Survived but Nobody Survived: Black Feminism, Motherhood, and Mass Incarceration. Her forthcoming memoir, Mainline Mama, draws from her experiences as a Black woman, teen mother, and 20 years of raising children with an incarcerated person. An excerpt of her memoir was recently published on Salon.com. She is currently working on building Borderlands: an activist community to discuss mothering, intimate relationships, and the context of family, while living in the borderlands of the criminal justice system.
Michael Curry, Esq. is the immediate past president of the Boston Branch of the NAACP (2011-2016). Mr. Curry has over twenty years of dedicated service to the NAACP on the city, state-area conference and national levels. Mr. Curry is a regular commentator on the local National Public Radio Broadcast/WBUR Boston, as well as on television with WGBH, WBZ and New England Cable News, on a wide range of political, cultural and social issues.
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