Literature for Justice: Exploring America's Carceral System

School of Social Service Administration, 969 E 60th St Thursday, May 16, 2019 6 – 8 pm More info here.

Literature transforms the way we look at the world, deepening our understanding of even the most complex issues of today. Recognizing the strength of the written word, the National Book Foundation’s Literature for Justice program brings broad awareness to the issue of mass incarceration in America through the power of books.

Join us for an evening with two of this year's Literature for Justice's picks James Kilgore and Robin Levi in conversation with Sergio de la Pava. The authors will discuss their books and how literature can transform our understandings of America’s carceral system.

A limited number of complementary books will be available to attendees.

Robin Levi is co-editor with Ayelet Waldman of Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives From Women’s Prisons, which tells the stories of 13 women inside the American prison system. She is a consultant working in the field of human rights and is the former human rights director at Justice Now. While a staff attorney at the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, she documented sexual abuse of women in U.S. state prisons. 

James Kilgore is the author of Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People’s Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time. He lived as a fugitive in South Africa from 1991 to 2002 under the name John Pape. In 2002, authorities extradited him to the United States where he served six and a half years in prison for political offenses committed in the 1970s. Kilgore is a social justice activist and writes widely on issues pertaining to mass incarceration. He is also a research scholar at the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois. 

Sergio De La Pava is a member of the 2018-2019 Literature for Justice Committee. He is the author of three novels: A Naked Singularity, Personae, and Lost Empress. He is also a lifelong public defender and Legal Director at New York County Defender Services in Manhattan where he represents indigent criminal defendants and advocates for large-scale criminal justice reform.

Cosponsored by: Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Pozen Center for Human Rights Lab, School of Social Service Administration, and The National Book Foundation