Michelle Alexander

Lecture and Book Signing!



Monday, April 8, 2013
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Anderson Student Center - Woulfe North and South


Michelle Alexander, a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and New York Times best-selling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness will be on campus Monday, April 8, 2013.   Alexander holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.  Prior to entering academia, Alexander served as director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she became passionate about exposing and challenging racial bias in the criminal justice system. She ultimately launched a major campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement known as the DWB Campaign, or Driving While Black or Brown Campaign.

Ms. Alexander has been featured in several national media outlets, including MSNBC, NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, C-Span, Washington Journal, and even the Colbert Report.  The New Jim Crow has been chosen for book clubs at many churches, colleges, and community organizations, and is required reading in several courses at UST. While Minnesota has one of the lowest rates of incarceration in the nation, we have one of the highest rates of people under criminal justice supervision (1 in 26 Minnesotans, according to the MN Second Chance Coalition.)  Thus, her work on exposing ways in which criminal justice systems can function as a racial caste system is most relevant here in MN.

The lecture, free and open to the public, will be Monday, April 8, 2013 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Anderson Student Center – Woulfe North & South.  The doors for the lecture will open at 6:30 p.m.  Books will be available for sale at the book signing and reception immediately following the lecture.

Parking will be available at the Anderson Parking Facility located at the corner of Cretin Ave. and Grand Ave.  Upon entering the ramp do not take a ticket you will need to swipe a credit card at the gate to enter. Upon leaving, you will swipe your credit card again to exit.  The length and cost of your stay is automatically determined by the times of your card swipes.

This event is sponsored by Student Diversity and Inclusion Services, University Lectures Committee, College of Arts & Sciences, Dean of Students Office, St. Thomas Activities & Recreation (STAR), Luann Dummer Center for WomenJustice & Peace Studies, American Culture & Difference, and Sociology & Criminal Justice.

Additional campus events are being sponsored in conjunction with this visit. 

Common Good Conversations – April 9, 11:45am-1:15pm and April 10, 5:30-7:00p.m., ASC Hearth

Michelle Alexander's indictment of "The New Jim Crow" raises important questions for anyone concerned about the common good:  How does mass incarceration contribute to the marginalization, disempowerment, and endangerment of members of our communities?  Why do race, ethnicity, and poverty continue to be the major factors shaping whether someone will go to prison?  What can we do to challenge and dismantle unjust social structures that uphold mass incarceration? 

Common Good Conversations will provide a forum for students, faculty, and staff to discuss the challenges raised by Michelle Alexander following her public lecture on April 8.  Amy Levad, Assistant Professor of Moral Theology, will facilitate the discussions.  Both conversations will be held in the Hearth Room in the Anderson Student Center.  Light meals will be served.  Please RSVP to Karla Duren dure3481@stthomas.edu

Justice & Peace Dialogue – April 18, 12-1pm, TBD

Mark Haase, VP of the Council on Crime and Justice, will be on campus at Noon on Thursday, April 18.  He will take localize some of her ideas about mass incarceration, tell stories that explore the direct and indirect costs, and offer insight into legislative initiatives and other ways to get involved.