Author of 'The New Jim Crow' to lecture at Divinity School

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Michelle Alexander

Author, legal scholar, and civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander will be at Yale Divinity School on Monday, Feb. 25 to talk about issues of social justice and racial disparity that she raises in her book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

The free and public lecture takes place in Marquand Chapel of the Divinity School, 409 Prospect St., at 5:30 p.m., and it will be webcast live at

Alexander has a joint appointment at Ohio State University with the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Previously, she was a member of the Stanford Law School faculty and director of the Civil Rights Clinic.

Much of Alexander’s work is aimed at exposing and challenging racial bias in the criminal justice system. “The New Jim Crow,” published in 2010, argues that the incarceration of millions of African Americans is one outcome of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, dooming the incarcerated to a permanent second-class status.

The book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best nonfiction and has been featured in national media outlets, including The New York Times, MSNBC, NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, and the Tavis Smiley Show, among others.

The New York Review of Books said: “Now and then a book comes along that might in time touch the public and educate social commentators, policymakers, and politicians about a glaring wrong that we have been living with that we also somehow don’t know how to face. ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness’ by Michelle Alexander is such a work. … Alexander considers the evidence and concludes that our prison system is a unique form of social control, much like slavery and Jim Crow, the systems it has replaced.”

Doors will open at 5 p.m. to the general public. Overflow seating (where the lecture will be streamed live on large screens) will be available in the event that Marquand Chapel reaches capacity.

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