Professor to speak on ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration and Institutional Racism’

By Jean Strahlendorf
Special to The PREVIEW

On Jan. 26, the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present an address previously given by Professor Michelle Alexander to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly in 2012. At this Justice General Assembly, Unitarian Universalists were called “to shine the light on human rights abuses and injustice.”

In “The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander shines the light on a criminal injustice system that is incarcerating poor and vulnerable people in a 21st century version of a race class caste system that victimizes families and whole communities.

She calls us to be in solidarity with those our society dehumanizes as beyond our compassion, justice and human dignity because of the label “criminal.” She further states, “racial profiling, criminalization and mass incarceration of African-Americans constitute today’s legal system for institutionalized racism, discrimination and exclusion.”

Professor Alexander is a civil rights advocate, lawyer, scholar and author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” a book that exposes today’s racial caste system and how to resist it. Michelle Alexander is an Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University.

The Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship sponsors a children’s spiritual educational program and encourages families with children to please join us for our Sunday service. Our children’s religious programs teach our Unitarian Universalist heritage, ethical living, moral precepts to love your neighbor, work for a better world and to search for truth with an open mind. Arts and crafts projects also are utilized to illustrate these principles.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. The address is Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.

This story was posted on January 23, 2014.