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Visualizing Abolition: Prisons and Poetics: Reginald Dwayne Betts and Craig Haney
The Institute of the Arts and Sciences and The Humanities Institute are pleased to present a poetry reading and conversation with award-winning American poet Reginald Dwayne Betts and renowned social psychologist Craig Haney, moderated by Professor Gina Dent. The event is part of the IAS Visualizing Abolition Series and The Humanities Institute's yearlong series on Memory.

For the 2020/21 academic year, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Dent, feminist studies, has organized a year-long series of online events featuring artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Originally, Visualizing Abolition was being planned as an in-person symposium, bringing together artists, lawyers, scholars, and other thinkers to challenge the dominant ways people see and understand issues of mass incarceration, detention, and policing in the United States and beyond. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the panels, artist talks, film screenings, and other events will now take place online, emphasizing with ever more urgency the importance of envisioning alternatives to ongoing injustices.

The events of Visualizing Abolition accompany Barring Freedom, a bi-coastal exhibition of art featuring Sonya Clark, American Artist, Dread Scott, Deana Lawson, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, Sharon Daniel, Sanford Biggers, and other artists whose practices creatively confront the failure of many to see the racist biases within the criminal justice system or to comprehend the economic and social problems that the system serves to obscure. Barring Freedom will be on view at San José Museum of Art October 23-March 21, 2021. It travels to NYC John Jay College of Criminal Justice April 28-July 15, 2021.

Jan 26, 2021 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Reginald Dwayne Betts
American poet, memoirist, and teacher
Reginald Dwayne Betts is an American poet, memoirist, and teacher. His work in public defense, his years of advocacy, and Betts’s own experiences as a teenager in maximum security prisons uniquely positions him to speak to the failures of the current criminal justice system and present encouraging ideas for change. Betts often gives talks about his own experience, detailing his journey from incarceration to Yale Law School and the role that perseverance and literature played in his success. In addition, he has given lectures on topics ranging from mass incarceration to contemporary poetry and the intersection of literature and advocacy.