The Black Lives Matter and other protests against police brutality have galvanized the nation and heightened attention to the systemic injustices in our criminal justice and carceral systems. The Office of Equity and Inclusivity and its constituent units (the Center for Spirituality and Social Justice, the Office of LGBTQ Services, the Popel Shaw Center for Race and Ethnicity, and the Women’s and Gender Resource Center) have adopted a shared programming theme for the 2021-22 academic year: Criminal (In)Justice.
Check out the events below and watch for other programs throughout the year on this theme. We welcome campus departments and student organizations to work with us on organizing relevant programs, events, and conversations.
2021-2022 Criminal (In)Justice Events:
Pincus Lecture 2022: Faith in Prison: How Faith-Based Organizing Can Support and Empower Incarcerated People
Sunday, February 6
Zoom link on EngageD
Please join our panelists as they share their stories and experiences with incarceration and learn more about faith-based organizing around mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. Panelists include Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, collective member of Matir Asurim: Jewish Care Network for Incarcerated Peoples; Rabbi Gabriel Seed, Jewish chaplain in the New York Department of Correction; CADBI organizer Anita Ferbee and her husband Edwin Nicholas Hicks; CADBI organizer Harry King; and CADBI organizer Lorraine Haw.
The Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration (CADBI) is a coalition of organizations and individuals seeking an end to mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Marjorie M. and Irwin Nat Pincus Fund in Honor of their daughter, Elizabeth Pincus Rubin Class of 1978, and cosponsored by the Asbell Center for Jewish Life and the Center for Spirituality and Social Justice. An OEI Criminal (In)Justice program.
Vice Patrol: Revisiting the Policing of Gay Life before Stonewall
Thursday, February 17
Virtual Presentation via Zoom in ATS
In the mid-twentieth century, gay life flourished in American cities even as the state repression of queer communities reached its peak. Professor Anna Lvovsky (Harvard Law School) examines the tactics used to criminalize and suppress gay life from the 1930s through the 1960s, and the often-surprising debates those campaigns inspired in court—debates over not just the law’s treatment of queer people, but also the limits of ethical policing, the authority of experts, and the nature of sexual difference itself. This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Office of LGBTQ Services, the Women's and Gender Resource Center, the Department of American Studies and the Law & Policy Program. An OEI Criminal (In)Justice program.
Gender Week Book Discussion: Abolition. Feminism. Now.
Monday, March 7
We’ll read Abolition. Feminism. Now., discussing how it centers the feminist and queer organizing that has grounded and amplified calls for abolition. Professor Say Burgin will facilitate our discussion of this timely new book written by leading scholar-activists Angela Y. Davis, Gina Dent, Erica Meiners, and Beth E. Richie. Lunch will be provided.
The WGRC will provide 10 free copies of the book, which may be picked up at the Office of Equity and Inclusivity/Landis House between 8:30-4:30, M-F. Students will be given priority for these books until February 11. If any remain, faculty and staff may receive a free book. Everyone who accepts a book is promising to attend and participate in the discussion. Sponsored by the Women's and Gender Resource Center. An OEI Critical (In)justice event.
Gender Week Keynote: Female Offenders: Unlocking their Sentencing Reality
Monday, March 7
Historically, various forms of sentencing options have been used when addressing the female population. The reasoning for the various alternatives is complex; however, analyzing this issue within the framework of intersectionality brings to light problems related to sentencing choices and the ever-increasing rate of female imprisonment. Dr. Shauntey James (Penn State Harrisburg) will offer a compelling dialogue to help us understand the interlocking nature of sentencing. Dr. James received her Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in 2000 in sociology with an emphasis in criminology, criminal justice, and feminist theory. She received her J.D. in 2014 from Thomas Cooley Law School. Her teaching experience has enabled her to present on the local, state, and national levels. One of her most distinguished honors was being an Oxford Round Table Delegate. Just recently, she was featured on Good Day PA and launched a book co-authored with Dr. Alana Van Gundy entitled The History, Evolution, and Current State of Female Offenders: Recommendations for the field. Sponsored by the Women's and Gender Resource Center. An OEI Criminal (In)Justice program.
Reciprocal Education and Community Healing on Death Row in Tennessee
Tuesday, March 8
From 2013-2017, Professor Amy McKiernan (Philosophy) served as a volunteer who facilitated a weekly philosophy and social justice reading group on death row at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, TN. At this event, Prof. McKiernan will facilitate a conversation about how her relationships with people who are incarcerated impact how she thinks about accountability and prison abolition. She will share examples of artwork and writing created by people on death row and discuss how working with people who are incarcerated has challenged her prior thinking about the victim/ perpetrator dichotomy. Lunch will be provided. Sponsored by the Women's and Gender Resource Center. An OEI Critical (In)justice event.
Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement and the Politics of Race
Wednesday, September 29
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium (ATS)
Professor Jennifer Carlson (University of Arizona) presents the troubling paradox of color-blind gun law and racialized gun criminalization. Based on interviews with close to eighty police chiefs she identifies two racialized frameworks—gun populism and gun militarism—that inform and justify how police understand and pursue public safety across different domains of gun violence. This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of political science and sociology and the Women’s & Gender Resource Center. An OEI Criminal (In)Justice program.
Seeking Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Tuesday, October 26
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium (ATS)
As we near Native American History Month, join Professor Elizabeth Rule (Chickasaw Nation, George Washington University) for a discussion about contemporary Native American politics and pressing issues. In this talk, Rule will discuss the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women issue, legislation to empower and protect Native women, and what you can do to be an ally in the fight against gender-based violence. This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center. An OEI Criminal (In)Justice program.
Clarke Forum Mini-Themes:
The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues is sponsoring three “mini themes” for the coming semester. One is “Criminal Injustice,” also the annual programming theme for the Office of Equity and Inclusivity. Faculty are invited to participate in a one session seminar that will accompany each theme. Participation entails a commitment to attend the associated programs, do the seminar-specific reading, and participate in the seminar meeting. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot in the seminar. Each group will be limited to 11 people. Here is the relevant information:
September 29, 7:00 p.m.: Jennifer Carlson, “Policing the Second Amendment: Guns, Law Enforcement and the Politics of Race”
October 25, 4:30 p.m.: Faculty seminar (Elizabeth Rule will attend; readings will be provided)
October 26, 7:00 p.m.: Elizabeth Rule, “Seeking Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women”