April 12, 2014
Currently the United States, although the world’s third most populous country, houses the largest prison population on earth. For the last decade, our nation’s prison population has remained around 2 million, growing by 700 percent since the late 1970s. These imbalances have disproportionately affected the hip-hop generation, Blacks, Latinos and the poor, and pose serious challenges to our democracy.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Holder announced a federal policy shift away from lengthy sentences for non-violent drug crimes. Also in 2013, New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy (which for years averaged thousands of arrests and nearly a half million stops of young Blacks and Latinos) was ruled unconstitutional. Additionally, numerous states struggling with historic budget shortfalls are enacting policy reforms to reduce their reliance on incarceration. Although these recent efforts to turn the tide seem promising, what obstacles persist to ending mass incarceration as we know it?
This town hall style gathering features:
Dr. Beth Richie (author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America's Prison Nation)
Amanda Klonsky (founder Free Write Jail Arts Literacy Program)
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (co-author of From the Classroom to the Cell with Mumia Abu Jamal)
Silky Slim (hip-hop artist & founder of Stop The Killing Inc.,)
Niaz Kasravi (NAACP Director of Criminal Justice Program)
Jasiri X (Moderator, Hip-hop artist, activist, and founder of 1Hood)
Free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Global Voices Lecture Series, Rap Sessions Presents, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.