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Social Justice Changemaker Lecture

The Social Justice Changemaker Lecture was established by a generous gift from Dr. Neil C. Hawkins and Annmarie F. Hawkins and the Hawkins Family. This annual lecture focuses on important global social justice issues including race and nationality, immigration and refugees, income inequality, gender identity and sexual orientation, education, health, and mental and physical disabilities.

The Social Justice Changemaker Lecture aims to bring prominent social justice experts and advocates from multiple disciplines including social sciences, science, humanities, the arts and other professions to the University of Michigan Campus.

Incarceration and its aftermath:
How art can create pathways to reintegration and healing

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Event Schedule

Registration Opens
12:00 p.m.

12:30-2:00 p.m.

2:00-3:00 p.m.


The Michigan Union
Rogel Ballroom
530 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Click here to RSVP

Keynote Speakers:

Nicole Fleetwood

Nicole Fleetwood

MacArthur “Genius” Nicole R. Fleetwood is a celebrated writer, cultural theorist, curator, and art critic. Growing up in Hamilton, Ohio, she witnessed the vulnerability of her community to excessive policing, punitive surveillance, and mass incarceration, and the direct impact these had on her family, especially her male cousins. The concept for her groundbreaking book Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration started in 2010, when she hung photographs of her cousins in Ohio prisons on the walls of her Harlem apartment. Fleetwood is the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication in the Steinhardt School at New York University, where her work focuses on Black diasporic art and visual culture, photography studies, art and public practice, performance studies, gender and feminist studies, Black cultural history, creative nonfiction, prison abolition and carceral studies, and poverty studies. She is also the author of 2015’s On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination and 2012’s Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness. Her writing appears in African American Review, American Quarterly, Aperture, Artforum, Callaloo: Art and Culture in the African Diaspora, Granta, Hyperallergic, LitHub, The New York Times, Public Books, Public Culture, Signs, Social Text, art catalogs, and edited anthologies.

Reuben Miller

Reuben Miller

MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and University of Chicago sociologist Dr. Reuben Miller is the author of Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, a “persuasive and essential” (Dr. Matthew Desmond) book that offers a “stunning, and deeply painful reckoning with our nation’s carceral system” (Heather Ann Thompson). As a chaplain at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and a sociologist studying mass incarceration, Miller spent years alongside prisoners, ex-prisoners, their friends, and their families to understand the lifelong burden that even a single arrest can entail. What his work revealed is a simple, if overlooked truth: life after incarceration is its own form of prison. Drawing on fifteen years of research and his own experience as the son and brother of incarcerated men, Miller captures the stories of the men, women, and communities fighting against a system that is designed for them to fail. Named one of its top books in 2021, NPR calls Halfway Home an “indictment of the criminal justice system [that] should trouble the soul of the nation.” It was longlisted for the 2022 PEN America Literary Award and Los Angeles Book Prize; and won two Prose Awards (for Cultural Anthropology and Sociology, and Excellence in Social Science) and the Herbert Jacob Book Prize. In 2022, Miller was named a MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow. A Chicago native, Miller is a sociologist, criminologist and a social worker who teaches at the University of Chicago in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice where he studies and writes about race, democracy, and the social life of the city, and is a research professor at the American Bar Foundation.

The Social Justice Changemaker Lecture is hosted by the School of Social Work with the support of our co-sponsors:

LSA College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

LSA Residential College

University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Prison Creative Arts Project

University of Michigan Poverty Solutions

University of Michigan Center for Racial Justice

Carceral State Project

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