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Author of “The New Jim Crow” speaks at Berea College

The highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar Dr. Michelle Alexander will speak at Berea College on Thursday, Feb. 10 for the 2011 Dr. Carter G. Woodson Memorial Convocation at 3 p.m. in Phelps-Stokes Auditorium.

Dr. Michelle Alexander

Dr. Alexander currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Alexander was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of her first book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010).

Dr. Alexander’s lecture at Berea College is also the title of her new book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness.” The book presents the argument that mass incarceration amounts to the devastating system of racial control once synonymous with the Jim Crow Era. In The New Jim Crow, Dr. Alexander highlights that as the United States celebrates “triumph over race,” many young black men are locked behind bars and are labeled as felons much like their grandparents before them. Alexander argues that the racial caste system has not yet ended but has been simply redesigned. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

The book has received rave reviews and has been featured in national radio and television media outlets, including NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, C-Span Washington Journal, among others. For several years, Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she helped to lead a national campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement. While an associate at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, she specialized in plaintiff-side class action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination. Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court, and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The event is the 2011 Carter G. Woodson Memorial Convocation, co-sponsored with Black Cultural Center, African and African American Studies, and Willis D. Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian Center and is free and open to the public.

For complete listing of all Berea College Convocations for 2010- 2011 year, visit

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