Best-Selling Author Michelle Alexander Joined by Coalition of Formerly Incarcerated New Yorkers to Discuss Her Book and Issues of Mass Incarceration at The Riverside Church on Saturday, May 21

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    Best-Selling Author Michelle Alexander Joined by Coalition of Formerly Incarcerated New Yorkers to Discuss Her Book and Issues of Mass Incarceration at The Riverside Church on Saturday, May 21

    PR Newswire

    MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, N.Y., May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Prison Ministry of The Riverside Church will host a coalition of formerly incarcerated New Yorkers and Michelle Alexander, author of the best-selling book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness for a discussion exploring issues of mass incarceration on Saturday, May 21, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the historic Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave. (bet. 120th & 122nd St.), Morningside Heights.

    Michelle Alexander's best-selling book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness has laid bare the systematic racism at the heart of the prison build-up, and has caused a sensation, galvanizing communities. She has spoken across the country and appeared on Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal.

    The event will also include a roundtable discussion moderated by Glenn Martin of the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy. Contributors include: Glenn Ford (Black Agenda Report), Annette Dickerson (Center for Constitutional Rights), Soffiyah Elijah (Correctional Association of New York), (Gabriel Sayegh (Drug Policy Alliance), Neil Franklin (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and Tina Reynolds (Women on the Rise Telling HerStory).

    Michelle Alexander is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University and a civil rights advocate, who has litigated numerous class action discrimination cases and has worked on criminal justice reform issues. She is a recipient of a 2005 Soros Justice Fellowship of the Open Society Institute, has served as director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California, directed the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School and was a law clerk for Justice Harry Blackmun at the U. S. Supreme Court.

    In her book The New Jim Crow, Alexander argues that systemic racial discrimination in the United States has resumed following the Civil Rights Movement's gains—implicit, but legalized and of devastating social consequences—with the domestic War on Drugs and other governmental policies. She considers the scope and impact of this current law enforcement, legal and penal activity to be comparable with that of the Jim Crow laws of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her book concentrates on the mass incarceration of African-American men.

    The event is free to attend and will also include a book signing. Following the main roundtable discussion, a reception will be held from 4-5:00 p.m., featuring guest speakers and refreshments. Tickets to the reception are $50 and can be purchased at the event.

    The Riverside Church (www.theriversidechurchny.org) is an interracial, interdenominational and international church built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927.  The 1,200-member Riverside Church in Morningside Heights has a rich tradition of providing a forum for important civic and spiritual leaders. Past speakers include: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President William J. Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Fidel Castro, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.

    SOURCE Prison Ministry of The Riverside Church