Tuesday, Mar 19, 5-6:30 PM

Literature for Justice: The Gravity of Bearing Witness

Tulane University
Getting there
Uptown Campus, New Orleans, LA

Maya Angelou once wrote, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” How do we ensure that crucial stories that shed light on America’s mass prison system are able to reach readers? Join the National Book Foundation and Tulane University Law School for a special event tied to the Foundation's Literature for Justice program, which will explore the complexities of America's carceral system. The event will kick-off with an introductory discussion on contextualizing mass incarceration, featuring Tulane faculty members Professor Janet Hoeffel, Professor Becki Kondkar (Director of the Domestic Violence Clinic), and Professor Katherine Mattes (Director of the Criminal Law Clinic). They will discuss the nuances of mass incarceration in Louisiana, including causes, interventions, and prospects for reform. Authors of titles on the National Book Foundation’s inaugural Literature for Justice reading list will then take the stage for a conversation that will center around the power and strength of witnessing. Jimmy Santiago Baca (A Place to Stand) and Reginald Dwayne Betts (Shahid Reads His Own Palm) will discuss the urgent need to share stories about incarceration, redemption, and the search for hope in darkness. This conversation will be moderated by Literature for Justice Committee Member and author Sergio De La Pava (Lost Empress). A limited number of free books will be distributed to attendees, and a reception will follow the event. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are encouraged. Emails collected will be used by both organizing partners, but will never be sold or shared externally. This event is presented by the National Book Foundation and Tulane University Law School. Literature for Justice is made possible from the Art for Justice Fund, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.