Founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Bryan Stevenson is the featured speaker for the second event in Visualizing Abolition, joining Gina Dent for a conversation about art, culture, and activism.
Bryan Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has, over the last two decades, tirelessly worked to challenge the racial and economic injustices of mass incarceration in the United States. Stevenson has also been at the forefront of the creation of two cultural sites, The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. For Visualizing Abolition, Stevenson will discuss how those institutions relate to his legal social justice initiatives.
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.
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.