Imagine some of the great names in academia, law, medicine and journalism. . . and one ex-felon, me. Chancellor Professor of Law Michele Goodwin of University of California/Irvine realized that there is much conversation about men in prison but none about women. Yet women are the backbone of our families and communities. As a force of nature, she determined to do something about it; thus bringing together experts in the field to shine a light on the issue.
Dr. Ervin Chemerinsky, Dean of the Law School and well known author and constitutional scholar, Pamela Alexander, Minnesota judge who sacrificed her career for her integrity, Jack Cole, founder of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and Dr. Carl Hart, author of a “must read” book, High Price, and professor at Columbia all shared the stage. Additionally, Victoria Law, author of Resistance Behind Bars, the struggles of incarcerated women, ACLU attorney Nusrat Jahan Choudhury, an expert on debtor’s prison (Yes, we have them), and Dr. David Rosen who has his MD and his law degree both from Harvard and works in both law and health, along with Dr. Claire Coles, an expert in pediatric psychiatry and behavior sciences brought their brilliance to the table. Also, Dr George Woods, a neuropsychiatrist who serves this year as president of the International Academy of Law and Health, as well as serving as a leading expert witness in critical death penalty cases, and Linda Pence, recognized as “one of the best lawyers in America,” known for her dedication in defending BeiBei Shuai to a successful conclusion rounded out the group. And then there was me, the only Ex at the table. Imagine how deeply honored I felt.
These were the people Professor Goodwin brought together for her summit. Since you couldn’t be there, here is the link to the entire event. My keynote is first. The afternoon is well divided up into panels. That makes it easy to watch in spurts. I hope you learn as much as I did by listening to these great warriors and incredible leaders. Women & Mass Incarceration They are real world changers and they inspired me.
It was also the first time I’ve seen the ocean in fourteen years. There is something magical about an ocean breeze that can blow the grayness of grief away