Wednesday, December 4
Art Exhibit: Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project and Moreau College Initiative
8:00AM–5:00PM Gammill Gallery, Barnard Observatory on UM campus
Art on the Inside is a traveling exhibit of work produced by students that have taken pre-college art classes in the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project (APAEP). Made up of drawings and photographs, and occasionally poems, Art on the Inside is a traveling exhibit. Much of the artwork collected over the years from the APAEP students is also currently for sale at our online gallery. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of student art goes to fund more classes.
Reframing Incarceration: Selected Work from Westville Correctional Facility features artwork by college students at Westville Correctional Facility and gives visible form to ideas such as abstraction, representation, memory, identity and personhood. Students participated in the Moreau College Initiative, a collaborative effort between the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College.
5:30pm–7:00pm, Off Square Books
Thursday, December 5
9:00am–10:30am Legacies of Slavery
Anne Twitty (Chair)
Anne Twitty is an associate professor at the University of Mississippi. Her research focuses on questions of nineteenth-century American social and cultural history, with a special emphasis on legal and labor history, slavery and freedom, gender and women’s history, and the history of the South and Midwest. Her first book, Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1757–1887, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.
Professor Twitty has also been active in efforts to study and contextualize the practice of slavery at the University of Mississippi. She has worked to help the University confront its racially divisive past as a dedicated member of the University of Mississippi Slavery Research Group since its founding and an appointed member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context, which produced a comprehensive set of recommendations about how the University should contextualize important historical sites on campus.
T. Dionne Bailey
T. Dionne Bailey is a visiting assistant professor of History at Colgate University. Bailey specializes in the study of African American women, social injustice, and the history of mass incarceration in the American South. She is currently working on her first manuscript project, Daughters of Jim Crow’s Injustice: African American Women, Mass Incarceration, and the Business of Black Women’s Bodies in the American South, 1890–1980. Bailey is the founder of the non-profit organization, I-VOW (I Am a Voice of Women) that works to aid and empower women in their transition from the penal system back into society with emphasis on education, mentoring, and support while also serving as an advocacy organization that seeks to aid women currently entangled in the penal system.
Sarah Haley is an associate professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies, and the associate director for the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California, Los Angeles. Haley has research and teaching investments in black feminism, gender history, carceral studies, labor, and black radicalism. She is the author of No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (2016), which examines the lives of imprisoned women in the U.S. South from the 1870s to the 1930s and the role of carcerality in shaping cultural logics of race and gender under Jim Crow. She is currently working on a black feminist history of the rise of the contemporary carceral state that interrogates the role of state intrusion and violation of black domestic space. Her research has been supported by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition; the Ford Foundation; and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
Walter Johnson is a historian at Harvard University. Previously, he was at New York University, after earning a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College (1988) and a Ph.D from Princeton in University (1995). Johnson’s award-winning books, Soul by Soul (1999) and River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (2013). Johnson is currently writing a book about the central role of St. Louis in the imperialist and racial capitalist history of the United States, from Lewis and Clark to Michael Brown. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship; fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the Radcliffe Institute, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; and a Mellon Fellowship in Cultural Studies at Wesleyan University.
Max Mishler received his Ph.D. from New York University in 2016 and is currently an assistant professor of History at the University of Toronto. Mishler specializes in the transnational history of the United States, with a focus on slavery, abolition, incarceration, and the history of capitalism. His current book manuscript, entitled “Civil Slavery: Punishment, Abolition, and the Origins of Mass Incarceration," explores the intertwined histories of slave emancipation and penal servitude in the Atlantic world. This research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Council of Library Information Resources, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also broadly interested in public humanities, particularly developing educational programs for currently and formerly incarcerated people.
10:45AM–12:15PM Prison Activism and the Organizing Tradition
Jessica Wilkerson (chair)
Jessica Wilkerson is an assistant professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Born and raised in East Tennessee, she earned her MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her first book, To Live Here, You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice (University of Illinois Press, 2019), traces the alliances forged and the grassroots movements led by women in the Appalachian South in the 1960s and 1970s. The project, based on her dissertation, received the OAH Lerner-Scott Prize and the Labor and Working-Class History’s Herbert Gutman Prize. In 2017, she began a collaboration with her students on an oral history project documenting LGTBQ life and history in Mississippi.
Dan Berger is an associate professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Washington Bothell. He is the author and or editor of six books, including Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (2014) and Rethinking the American Prison Movement (2018), and a frequent op-ed contributor. He coordinates the Washington Prison History Project, a digital archive of prisoner activism and prison policy available at www.WAprisonhistory.org.
Orisanni Burton is a Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Anthropology at American University who studies Black radical politics and state repression in the United States. His research has been published in Cultural Anthropology, North American Dialog, The Black Scholar, and he has forthcoming work in American Anthropologist. Dr. Burton is an active member of the Critical Prison Studies Caucus of the American Studies Association and the Abolition Collective and is hard at work on a book manuscript, entitled The Tip of the Spear: Revolutionary Organizing and Prison Pacification in the Empire State, which analyzes the prison as a domain of domestic warfare.
Darren Mack is an activist, advocate, and organizer from Brooklyn, New York. Mack served 20 years in the New York State prison system. After receiving his BA from Bard College through the Bard Prison Initiative in 2013, Mack went on to graduate with a Master’s in social work from Hunter College and is the director of Community Engagement & Advocacy at JustLeadershipUSA as well as a leading advocate for the #CLOSErikers campaign in New York City.
Sherie Randolph is an associate professor of history at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she teaches courses on social movements, black feminist theory, gender, race and incarceration, Black Power, African American history, and women’s history. Randolph is the founder of the Black Feminist Think Tank and author of Florynce “Flo" Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical (2015) with a forthcoming book titled, Free Them All: African American Women Political Exiles in Cuba.
Zoharah Simmons has a long history in the area of civil rights, human rights, and peace work. She was on the staff of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) for twenty-three years. During her early adult years as a college student and thereafter, Simmons was active with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and spent seven years working full time on Voter Registration and desegregation activities in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. She is currently an assistant professor of religion and affiliated faculty in the Women Studies Department. Simmons’ primary academic focus in Islam is on the Shari’ah (Islamic Law) and its impact on Muslim women, contemporarily.
Rhonda Y. Williams (chair)
Rhonda Y. Williams is a professor of History and the John L. Seigenthaler Chair in American History at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on the experiences, everyday lives, politics, and social struggles of low-income black women and marginalized people while contributing to the rethinking of gender, political identity, citizenship, civil rights, black liberation struggles, and interactions with the U.S. state. She is the author of the award-winning The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women's Struggles against Urban Inequality (2004) and Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (2015), as well as numerous articles and essays, including the recently published chapter, titled “Women, Gender, Race, and the Welfare State” in the Oxford Handbook for Women’s and Gender History. Williams is also the co-editor of the book series Justice, Power, and Politics at the University of North Carolina Press and is co-editor of Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement.
Kelly Lytle Hernández
Kelly Lytle Hernández is a professor of History, African American Studies, and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles where she holds The Thomas E. Lifka Endowed Chair in History. She is also the director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA and the director and principal investigator for the 2018 Freedom Now! Award recipient, Million Dollar Hoods, a university-based, community-driven research project that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, she is the author of the award-winning books, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (2010), and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (2017).
James Kilgore landed in Federal prison in 2002 after spending 27 years as a fugitive. During his time underground, he moved to southern Africa where he became a popular educator for unions and community organizations fighting against apartheid. Since his release from prison in 2009 he has written five books, including the National Book Foundation award winner Understanding Mass Incarceration (2015) and four novels, all of which he drafted during his time in prison. In Urbana, Illinois, where he lives, he is the co-director of FirstFollowers Reentry Program, the father of two grown sons who are healthy and progressive-minded and the partner of Teresa Barnes, an historian of southern Africa and expert on the US prison system, through the lived experience of having a loved one incarcerated.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad
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. He is the award-winning author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, and a contributor to a 2014 National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Muhammad is a frequent reviewer and commentator in national print and broadcast media outlets, such as the New York Times, The Nation, National Public Radio and MSNBC. He has appeared in a number of feature-length documentaries, including Slavery by Another Name (2012) and the Oscar-nominated 13th (2016).
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an award-winning author on race and inequality as well as Black politics and social movements. Her books include From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (2016) and How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective (2012). She has a forthcoming book titled Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (2019). Taylor’s writing has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Review, Paris Review, The Guardian, The Nation, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Jacobin, and beyond. Taylor has been appointed as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians for 2018–2019. Taylor is an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.
Public History Presentation
2:45pm–4:00PM Parchman Oral History Project film screening
The Parchman Oral History Project (POHP) is a collaborative oral history, archival, and documentary storytelling project on incarceration in Mississippi hosted at the University of Mississippi. Its inaugural project chronicled several major student rebellions in the state and the mass arrests which followed during the year 1970.
Katherine Aberle is a Southern Studies graduate student with an emphasis in Documentary Expression at the University of Mississippi. Her fieldwork focuses on documenting the Mississippi Delta from the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign to contemporary critical prison studies.
Courtney DeLong is a junior at Harvard College where she studies Folklore & Mythology and History. She is passionate about legal reform, restorative justice, and prison abolition.
Kiara Johnson is a junior at Tougaloo College. While majoring in History and Education, Kiara plans on researching Women’s Narratives in Mississippi History.
Minahil Akbar Khan
Minahil Akbar Khan graduated from Harvard College in May, where she studied African American Studies. She completed a creative thesis exploring authenticity of voice as a writer of color.
Jasmine Stansberry is a Ph.D student in the History Department at the University of Mississippi. Her research is on black social movements in the twentieth-century U.S. South.
5:30pm–7:00pm, Off Square Books
Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, and Critical Resistance, she works on racial capitalism, organized violence, organized abandonment, changing state structure, criminalization, and labor and social movements. She’s working on a second edition of the prize-winning Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (originally published in 2007). Recent publications include “Beyond Bratton” (Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds.), and “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds.). Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
robin d. g. kelley
Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination; Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class; Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America; Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression.
Friday, December 6
9:00am–10:30am Law and Abolition
Will berry (chair)
Will Berry is an Associate Professor of Law and Frank Montague, Jr. Professor of Legal Studies and Professionalism at the University of Mississippi, where he has served as Director of the Cambridge Summer Abroad Program since 2012. A productive scholar, Professor Berry has written primarily in the areas of capital punishment, sentencing, substantive criminal law, and sports & entertainment law. His work has appeared in the Texas Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, and the Washington University Law Review, among others.
Dr. Amanda Alexander is the founding Executive Director of the Detroit Justice Center, a movement lawyering organization that works alongside communities to create economic opportunities, transform the justice system, and promote equitable and just cities. Originally from Michigan, Dr. Alexander has worked at the intersection of racial justice, social movements, and community development in Detroit, New York, and South Africa for over 15 years. She is an Echoing Green Fellow, Soros Justice Fellow, Fulbright-Hays Scholar, and 2018 Law for Black Lives Legal Innovator Fellow. Dr. Alexander is a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Michigan Law School and serves on the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. She holds a JD from Yale Law School, Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, and a BA from Harvard College.
reginald dwayne betts
Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet and memoirist, he is the author of three books. The recently published Bastards of the Reagan Era, the 2010 NAACP Image Award-winning memoir, A Question of Freedom, and, the poetry collection, Shahid Reads His Own Palm. Dwayne is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. in Law Program at the Yale Law School. He has earned a J.D. from the Yale Law School, an MFA from Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, and a BA from the University of Maryland.
Elizabeth Hinton is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Departments of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. In her book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, Hinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid–1960s that made the United States home to the largest prison system in world history. This work has received numerous awards and recognition, including the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize from the Phi Beta Kappa Society and being named to The New York Times's 100 notable books of 2016. Hinton's op-eds on mass criminalization, surveillance, and the persistence of racial inequality can be found in the pages of The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Review, The Nation, and Time.
Derecka Purnell is a human rights lawyer and writer based in D.C. She provides legal support, organizes trainings, and communications resources to organizers across the country to build campaigns against state violence. She has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Boston Review. Purnell is currently deputy director of the Spirit of Justice Center at Union Theological Seminary.
10:45AM–12:00PM The University and the Prison
jodi skipper (chair)
Jodi Skipper is an associate professor of Sociology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Her research interests include African diaspora anthropology, historic sites management, historical archaeology, museum and heritage studies, and southern studies. She is an applied anthropologist who explores the representation of African American lives through material culture. During her time at the University of Mississippi, she has focused on how African American historic sites interact with the production of heritage in tourism spaces through two new projects, the Behind the Big House program in Marshall County, Mississippi and the Promiseland Historic Preservation project in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana.
Kathy Boudin is the co-director and co-founder of the Center for Justice at Columbia University. Her work focuses on the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, and the development of strategies to both transform the current criminal justice system and to deal with the day-to-day damage that the system has caused. In prison, she focused on strengthening mother-child relationships across the separation of incarceration, bringing back college to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility after the termination of the Pell grants, and building a community response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since her release from prison in 2003, Boudin founded the Coming Home Program at the Spencer Cox Center for Health, Mt. Sinai/St.Luke’s, which provides healthcare for people returning from incarceration. She also developed a restorative practice program inside prisons for long-termers, many of whom were sentenced as juveniles, and is developing policy initiatives to release aging people from prison and to reform the parole system. Her work is based on participation and leadership from those who are most deeply affected by mass incarceration.
Michelle Jones is a third-year doctoral student in the American Studies program at New York University. She studies collateral consequences of criminal convictions, biographic mediation, and women’s prison history. Jones’s advocacy extends beyond the classroom through collaborations and opportunities to speak truth to power. She is the board chair of Constructing Our Future, a reentry alternative created by incarcerated women in Indiana. She is a 2017-18 Beyond the Bars Fellow, 2017–2018 Research Fellow Harvard University, 2018–2019 Bearing Witness Fellow with Art for Justice and 2019–2020 Code for America, SOZE Foundation and Mural Arts Philadelphia Fellow. Michelle is an artist and finds ways to funnel her research pursuits into theater, photography, visual art and dance.
Alice Kim is an educator, cultural organizer, activist, and writer. Kim teaches at a maximum-security prison and leads the Prison Neighborhood Arts Project’s community-building efforts connecting scholars, teaching artists and community leaders with incarcerated students. She is co-editor of The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences (2018), and Working Toward Freedom (with Erica Meiners, Audrey Petty, Jill Petty, Beth Richie, Sarah Ross, Haymarket Books, September 2018). Kim was a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow and is coauthoring a book about Chicago police torture cases. A long-time death penalty and prison abolitionist, Kim is a founding member of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials project, a collective that documents the history of Chicago police torture through the arts and seeks justice for the survivors of police torture. In her activism, she embraces radical imagination, multi-ethnic organizing, and intersectionality. Kim received her BA at Northwestern University and her MFA in Writing at Bennington College.
Syrita Steib-Martin is the executive director of Operation Restoration. She has an unrelenting passion to help women successfully reenter into society after incarceration. At the age of 19, she was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison. After serving 110 months, she earned her BS from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans and became a nationally certified and licensed clinical laboratory scientist. Steib-Martin successfully drafted and passed Louisiana Act 276 which prohibits public post-secondary institutions in Louisiana from asking questions relating to criminal history for purposes of admissions, making Louisiana the first to pass this type of legislation. She is a consultant on the national Dignity for Incarcerated Women campaign and regularly speaks at conferences across the nation about the experiences of incarcerated women. Steib-Martin was appointed to the Justice Reinvestment oversight council for the state of Louisiana, and chairs the Louisiana Task Force on Women’s Incarceration.
1:15pm–2:30PM Ending Women’s Incarceration
Shennette Garrett-Scott (chair)
Shennette Garrett-Scott is an associate professor of History and African-American Studies, and a historian of gender, race, and capitalism. Her first book Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal (Columbia University Press, 2019) is the first full-length history of finance capitalism that centers black women and the banking institutions and networks they built from the eve of the Civil War to the Great Depression. Black women played essential roles in black communities’ efforts to use finance to carve out possibilities within U.S. capitalism and society. Her forthcoming projects include “Domesticating Racial Capitalism,” about industrial sewing schools during early Reconstruction; Horror Island, about peonage and bootlegging in the Deep South; and Black Empire, about a colony of African American sharecroppers in Mexico during the Porfirian regime.
Andrea James is the founder and executive director of Families for Justice as Healing and founder of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, author of Upper Bunkies Unite: And Other Thoughts On the Politics of Mass Incarceration (2013), a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow, and recipient of the 2016 RFK Human Rights award. James worked within the criminal justice system for more than 25 years, from her days as a youth worker, to her work as a criminal defense attorney. In 2009 she was sentenced to serve a 24-month federal prison sentence. After a lifetime of work seeking justice on behalf of disenfranchised people, she was stunned at what she encountered upon entering the federal prison system as an incarcerated person. She uses her experience to raise awareness of the effect of incarceration of women on themselves, their children and communities, and to raise awareness of the need to shift from a criminal legal system to a system focused on human justice.
Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator and curator who is active in movements for racial, gender, and transformative justice. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration. Kaba has co-founded multiple organizations and projects over the years including We Charge Genocide, the Chicago Freedom School, the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women, Love & Protect and most recently Survived + Punished. As a Researcher in Residence, she works with Andrea J. Ritchie, fellow Researcher in Residence, on a new Social Justice Institute (SJI) initiative, Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including The Nation, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue and she runs the Prison Culture blog.
Emily Thuma is an assistant professor of American Politics and Public Law at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She is the author of All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence (University of Illinois Press, 2019).
Cheryl Wilkins is co-founder and director of the Women Transcending at Columbia University’s Center for Justice, where her work is committed to ending the nation’s reliance on incarceration, developing new approaches to safety and justice, and participating in the national and global conversation around developing effective criminal justice policy. Wilkins is also an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work and an advisor with the Justice in Education Prison Program. She sits on the board of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison, Novo’s Women’s Building Advisory Circle, and the Fortune Society. She is the recipient of the Brian Fischer Award, Davis Putter scholarship, the Sister Mary Nerney Visionary Award, and the Citizens against Recidivism Award.
Public History Presentation
2:45pm–4:00pm Community Education Project and Indiana Women’s Prison History Project
Andy Eisen (CHAIR)
Andy Eisen is the co-director of the Community Education Project, a higher education in prison program located in Daytona, Florida. Eisen is the coordinator for the program’s Public History Research Collective and a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Stetson University.
Elizabeth Nelson (chair)
Lara Campbell has Bachelor and Associate Degrees in General Studies from Oakland City University and a Bachelor’s degree in Music-Voice Performance from Indiana University. Her research in the Indiana Women’s Prison History Project examines acts of resistance against the Indianapolis House of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic-run institution for “wayward” women and girls, at the turn of the twentieth century.
roger c. cassidy
Roger C. Cassidy is a student in Stetson University’s Community Education Project (CEP), currently conducting archival research on transportation and the slave trade on the St. Johns River. He is also writing a study on the criminal justice system in Florida from the emancipation of enslaved persons to present-day. This study supports a criminal justice reform he proposed (Florida citizen initiative 19-04) focused on creating demand for educational and rehabilitative programming opportunities in Florida prisons by incentivizing the participation in such programs and developing a mechanism for review for early release of incarcerated individuals.
Nicole Hayes joined the IWP History Project two years ago and has been investigating the history of human trafficking. Her historical work centers on connections between “white slavery” and the Indiana Girls School, a juvenile facility for delinquent girls, which was a site of recruitment into prostitution in the 1910s.
Lisa Hochstetler is student in the Bard College program at IWP and her historical research examines the experiences of incarcerated mothers and their children. She is researching births and adoptions at the Indiana Girls’ School for juveniles in the 1910s (currently the site of the Indiana Women’s Prison) and policies affecting incarcerated mothers today.
Mercury Kane is a student and historian in Stetson University’s Community Education Project located at Tomoka Correctional Institution. Currently, he is transcribing and interpreting historical documents related to formerly enslaved individuals at the Spring Garden Plantation at Deleon Springs, Florida.
Rheann Kelly received her B.A. in business management through Oakland City University in 2008 and is currently enrolled in the Bard College program at IWP. As part of the IWP History Project, Rheann is researching labor and economics in the Indianapolis House of the Good Shepherd in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly the role played by young women and girls who did laundry work.
Natalie Medley has been part of the Higher Education Program and the History Project at the Indiana Women’s Prison since 2016. She is currently working on a history of Magdalene Laundries as the first prisons in the United States, looking specifically at the Indianapolis House of the Good Shepherd and its relationship to the city and county criminal legal systems.
Mustapha is a researcher studying the life of Eliza Williams, the daughter of a plantation owner in what is now Daytona Beach. He’s been incarcerated for the past 19 years of his young life awaiting the opportunity to be released, thanks to a new law that was passed for all juvenile offenders sentenced to life without parole.
Antonio Rosa is a historian in Stetson CEP’s Public History Research Collective at Tomoka Correctional Institution. His research focus has been slavery in Spanish and Territorial Florida. He’s been incarcerated for 20 years on a natural life sentence.
Ken Smith is a student and researcher studying the Second Seminole War with an emphasis on its impact in Volusia County. He is studying the maroon societies that were created between the Seminoles and runaway slaves, specifically the life of John Caesar.
Pete Storrs is a student of CEP since June 2015 and a researcher for the Public History Research Collective since January 2018. He first considered himself a historian following the publication of his research with Antonio Rosa in the Journal of American History’s “Process Blog.” His research focuses on documenting the locations of the various plantations in the area and connecting them with the names of enslaved peoples the Collective has recovered.
5:30pm–7:00pm, Off Square Books
Susan Burton founded A New Way of Life Reentry Project in 1998 to help women affected by the problems of incarceration and addiction with compassionate, practical support and resources. The organization has helped thousands of families in California and around the country, and Burton herself has been widely recognized as a new civil rights leader and social change activist. Her memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton, received a 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Recently, she launched the SAFE (Sisterhood Alliance for Freedom and Equality) Housing Network, a replication model that will allow A New Way of Life to share its methods with other up-and-coming reentry housing programs throughout the country.
Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. Laymon is currently the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa in Fall 2017. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Heavy: An American Memoir.
Rukia Lumumba is the executive director of the People’s Advocacy Institute and co-lead of Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives, Rukia Lumumba is a transformative justice strategist working at the intersections of electoral justice, legal support and community organizing to build new institutional power that paves the way for a more just system rooted in restoration, resilience and self-determination.