Issues of policing and incarceration – both locally and nationally – will be in sharp focus as the 36th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series (MTW) invites a wide-ranging discussion of the historical developments that have brought us to events in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago, and so many other American towns. The annual Black History Month conference will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2016, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N).
Long Time Here: Prisons and Policing in African-American History will emphasize, as MTW traditionally does, the ways that history helps illuminate our contemporary world. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, co-founder of Critical Resistance, author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, and professor at the CUNY Graduate Center will give the MTW keynote lecture. Two other lectures will be given by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America; and Heather Ann Thompson, professor at the University of Michigan and author of the forthcoming Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy. The program will conclude with a panel discussion on the history of police reform in Newark, featuring Newark Mayor Ras Baraka; Junius Williams, director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at RU-N; Lawrence Hamm, chair of the People’s Organization for Progress; and Deborah Jacobs, former director of the ACLU, New Jersey. The panel will be moderated by Marcia W. Brown, RU-N vice chancellor for external and governmental relations.
Following the conference, MTW attendees are invited to a reception at The Newark Museum that will feature live musical entertainment by The Bradford Hayes Trio.