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University Forum Online to feature Legal Expert and Author James Forman Jr. Oct. 27 | #College. | #Students | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


Fri,
10/16/2020 – 16:44pm | By: David Tisdale
James Forman Jr., a Yale University Law School professor and author of the Pulitzer
Prize-winning book Locking Up Our Own, which explores race and the war on crime during
the late 20th century, will be the guest speaker for The University of Southern Mississippi’s
(USM) University Forum Online Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. when he presents “Confronting
Mass Incarceration.”

Professor Forman is the son of civil rights activist James Forman, and grandson of
Jessica Mitford, the latter an investigative reporter and activist and a 1990 USM
University Forum speaker. After graduating from Yale Law School, Professor Forman
served as a clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Conner on the U.S. Supreme Court, and spent
six years working as a public defender in Washington, D.C. His work as a public defender
led him to start the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for
youth offenders and school dropouts. “Forman saw the consequences of tough-on-crime
policies firsthand as a prosecutor in the District of Columbia, and his scholarly
work is inspired by those experiences,” said Dr Andrew Haley, professor of history
and director of University Forum. “The United States is still struggling with the
consequences of those policies, as we all witnessed this summer when video circulated
showing the murder of George Floyd.

“There may be no speaker that University Forum could invite who can better explain
how we got to this point, and where we should go, than James Forman Jr.”

Professor Forman is the author of various law review articles as well as op-eds and
essays for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Republic, and The Nation. Locking
Up Our Own explores the Black mayors, judges, and police chiefs who took office during
a period of rising crime in the 1970s and the effect their tough-on-crime and war-on-drugs
policies had on poor Black neighborhoods in the decades that followed. Forman’s account
of the rise of mass incarceration, The New York Times wrote, demonstrates “exemplary
nuance” and compassion.

Presented by the USM Honors College, University Forum is free and open to the public.
Details about how to attend the talk will be posted at www.usm.edu/forum.

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