July 17, 2020

A Panel Discussion on Mass Incarceration Hosted by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

At the invitation of the DEI committee Dr. Ashley Lucas, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan, facilitated an online panel that featured formerly incarcerated people of color. Dr. Lucas is part of a team of researchers who have designed The Carceral State Project to document the historical and contemporary processes of criminalization, policing, incarceration, immigrant detention, and other forms of carceral control in the United States. During the panel discussion Dr. Lucas and her community collaborators Patrick Bates, Artaysia Mallisham, and Cozine Welch shared reactions to the documentary 13TH, gave moving accounts of the transition out of prison into restricted freedom, and presented ideas to overcome systemic racism and mass incarceration. The Q&A session that followed the panel discussion included questions from the audience about how to get involved in programs that serve current and former prisoners and ways to replace the armed enforcement model that permeates university and community policing with a service model. Thank you to the panelists, Dr. Lucas, and the DEI committee for creating this opportunity for members of the department to reflect on and respond to injustice on campus and in society.