Debating for Democracy: Mass Incarceration and Systemic Racism

Debating for Democracy: Mass Incarceration and Systemic Racism

In 2020, two scholars from the Men of Color Initiative, Rajiv Redd and Ahmad Lyons, participated in the Project Pericles Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ Letter to an Elected Official competition in Dr. Cyril Ghosh's class. Their winning letter advocated for expanding the FIRST STEP Act (H.R. 5682) which currently "restricts and manages mandatory minimum sentencing." In the letter, they highlighted how Black men and communities have been disproportionately affected by mandatory minimum sentencing. In the proposal that accompanied their letter, Rajiv and Ahmad stressed the need to create more awareness about this issue among their peers.


Thus, the Project Pericles Program Director Dr. Ludwig the Men of Color Initiative, Sidiq Soulemana (Assistant Director, Center for Intercultural Advancement), Donovan Davis (Presidential Fellow), and Seong Gillespie (a Sophmore Sociology major and Civic Engagement minor), very excited to invite Wagner College community to participate in a virtual event (film screening of "13TH" followed by a discussion) that seeks to educate and inform about Mass Incarceration and Systemic Racism.

Date: Tuesday, March 30

Time: 6pm Virtual Watch Party of 13TH - you can view the film here - or email Donovan Davis to join the watch party

 8pm Virtual Discussion - Register for the discussion. The discussion is open to anyone in the Wagner community but we require participants to watch the film before the discussion.

According to the New York Times, "this film hinges on the 13th Amendment, as the title indicates, in ways that may be surprising, though less so for those familiar with Michelle Alexander’s 2010 bestseller, 'The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.' Ratified in 1865, the amendment states in full: 'Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.' As Ms. Alexander underscores, slavery was abolished for everyone except criminals. The film 13TH is powerful, infuriating, and at times overwhelming, and will get your blood boiling and tear ducts leaking. It shakes you up, but it also challenges your ideas about the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States."

There will be an opportunity to enter a raffle and win prizes - sponsored by Project Pericles.