SPEAR's past conferences have drawn some 200 participants from various universities and advocacy groups to Princeton's campus for a weekend of lectures, panels, and activist workshops. Previous speakers include Sister Helen Prejean, a prominent anti-death penalty activist, and Eugene Jarecki, director of The House I Live In.
This year, our conference is focused around the theme of identity, and how certain identities become criminalized. Specifically, we’ll be examining how marginalized populations -- including racial minorities, undocumented immigrants, and the LGBTQ community -- are alternately persecuted by our penal system on the basis of those identities. We are collaborating with student groups on campus to bring a diverse array of speakers and panelists to campus, creating a space at Princeton for students and community members to share in our vision for a more humane criminal justice policy.
Programming for the conference includes a keynote address from Shaun King, noted journalist and civil rights activist, as well as panels on…
- The policing of black lives, featuring Michael Wood, a retired Baltimore police officer who has spoken out against police brutality in the Washington Post; Nazgol Ghandnoosh, author of the influential Black Lives Matter report; and Philippe Copeland, a Boston University professor and social worker
- The LGBT experience with immigrant detention and incarceration, with representatives from Black and Pink, Immigration Equality, and the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
- Immigrant detention, featuring activist Eddy Zheng and representatives from Families for Freedom and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
…as well as lectures and workshops by other advocates, activists, and formerly incarcerated/detained individuals.