At the close of 2015, Charles M. Blow, a New York Times columnist who covers social justice and politics, asked other writers and scholars who focus on these issues to name their biggest social justice stories of the year. Among the contributors were Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard Professor and scholar of African-American literature, and Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Both listed the Black Lives Matter movement as key initiatives addressing racism and social injustice. The movement continues to gain momentum as individuals speak out against inequity and for an overhaul of the American justice system.
On Wednesday, April 20 at 6:30pm, we have an opportunity to learn and explore the context of race, the current criminal justice system and mass incarceration. The Black Graduate Student Association, along with other co-sponsors, will host a panel discussion, Learning from the Central Park 5: Visions of American Criminal Justice Reform. Mareena Robinson Snowden, a representative of the Black Graduate Student Association, an organizer of the program, and Radius Steering Committee member reports:
"In 1990, in a case that polarized the nation across racial and class lines, five Black and Hispanic NYC teens were falsely convicted of the brutal rape and assault of a young white NYC banker.
"The aim of this event is to use the Central Park 5 case of 1990 as a vehicle to reflect on the policies and perceptions that helped shape our current criminal justice system, and discuss strategies and visions of reform. With a very important election on the horizon, it is important to understand the context that surrounds the current era of mass incarceration and how race, class, and media portrayals influence our current and future situation."
Please join us. Refreshments will be provided prior to the event at 6pm. The panel begins at 6:30pm in room 6-120.