Jena Phillips, a Leaders for Change intern at the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service, will be hosting a two-part series titled, “1 in 3: Mass Incarceration in the Land of the Free.” The series will address the intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States and why the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
To get the conversation started, there will be a screening and discussion of the documentary 13th Monday, Nov. 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Talley 4280. In this thought-provoking documentary, activists, scholars and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans as it relates to mass incarceration.
There will be a panel discussion the following day in the Piedmont Ballroom in Talley Student Union at 7 p.m., featuring: Whitley Carpenter, an attorney at Southern Coalition for Social Justice; John Dixon, the former Chief of Police at the Petersburg Police Department in Richmond, VA; Miea Walker, the engagement coordinator for the NC Second Chance Alliance; and Chaniqua Simpson, a doctoral candidate focusing on the movement for black lives. More information about each panelists can be found below.
Whitley Carpenter is a Staff Attorney currently focusing on criminal justice issues related to SCSJ’s Clean Slate Project, which provides direct legal reentry services to persons with criminal records. In her time with SCSJ, she has also explored issues related to racial profiling and police misconduct. Whitley received her J.D. from UNC School of Law in 2015. She began working with SCSJ during the summer of 2014 as a Certified Law Student. During law school, she worked with the UNC Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity where she focused on bringing attention to issues impacting North Carolina’s poor communities. She also served as a certified student practitioner at the UNC Civil Legal Assistance Clinic and represented clients in housing and education cases. Whitley graduated from North Carolina State University in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science. As an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University, Whitley helped to recruit underrepresented groups of students and worked with minority and impoverished students in after-school and academic enhancement programs, and coordinated college visits for middle and high school students of color. Whitley’s work regularly reflects her strong commitment to advocating for and strengthening the voices of poor, underrepresented communities, and communities of color.
John I. Dixon III joined law enforcement in the 1980s. He first served in the US Marine Corps and then for 25 years as a policer officer in Richmond, Virginia, rising from patrol officer to the rank of major. He served in patrol and in the narcotics and juvenile divisions. He became Chief of Police in 2007. John developed a passion for community engagement and empowerment, youth outreach, and human resource development. As an officer, John focused on improving the overall quality of life for the community. Confronting several challenges in the police-community relationship. John led extensive outreach efforts in Petersburg and the surrounding areas. He implemented innovative practices including the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Lethality Assessment Protocol to prevent domestic-partner homicides, and Operation Renew with the Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force to assist communities in removing unlivable structures associated with the drug trade. Known for his strong work ethic and uncompromising commitment to public safety, he was selected to serve on President Obama’s Commission on Gun Violence.
Miea received her undergraduate degree from Shaw University and a Master’s in Social Work from North Carolina State University. Miea joined the North Carolina Justice Center in September 2016 as the Second Chance Alliance Engagement Coordinator. She brings a wealth of knowledge regarding mass incarceration and the roadblocks returning citizens face as they are released from prison. Her passion as a social justice advocate is to amplify the voices of those directly impacted by the criminal justice system by increasing awareness and challenging the status quo. Miea serves on the steering committee of the Capital Area Reentry Council. She is a board member for the School of Conversion, an organization who works for beloved communities that unlearn habits of social division and is the Chair of the Christian Community Development Association mass incarceration task force.
Chaniqua D. Simpson is a doctoral student in the department of sociology and anthropology, where her areas of interest are race, class, and gender inequality and food and the environment. She also works at the African American Cultural Center as a graduate intern. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in sociology at Fayetteville State University, and her Master’s degree in sociology at NC State University. Her research focuses on culture within Black resistance movements. Her dissertation project looks at the ways that activists and organizations within the current Movement for Black Lives make sense of their organizing work and attempt to forge a movement that is inclusive and intersectional. In addition to her graduate work, Chaniqua proudly serves on the Board of Directors for BUMP: The Triangle, a music education non-profit that teaches music of the African Diaspora to underserved youth. She is also the historian and a political education committee member for Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100 – Durham Chapter), a Black youth activist-led organization dedicated to Black liberation.
Please visit our Leaders for Change page to learn more about the program and for other upcoming events. For reasonable accommodations, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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