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Bob Moses Conference

2023 Agenda

**Agenda as of 1/25/23

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Day One

The Vote, Caste, and the Carceral State

 Saturday, January 28, 2023

9:00 AM 

Welcome Remarks by Melissa Nobles, Chancellor, MIT & Co-founder of The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Program of Northeastern Law

Remarks by James Forman, Jr. Author of Locking up Our Own,

The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and a personal lens on the Carceral State

9:15 AM

Lecturer Khalil Gibran Muhammad on “The Condemnation of Blackness, the Criminalization of Blackness: Precursors to the Carceral state”

10:30 AM

Lecturer Nicholas Lemann on “Reconstruction and The Battle for Citizenship and/or Voting,  Violence and Reconstruction”

Since the Civil War, and the last pangs of Reconstruction, violence against Black people has been the  tool to ensure white political power and the  social control of Black people. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, a bulwark against  state governments’ strategies to deny Black people their right to vote, is on life support. Felon disenfranchisement has been a major means of diluting the Black vote. Understanding how we got here lays out a path of how we move forward.

11:45 AM
11:45 AM
11:45 AM
11:45 AM

Breakout Discussion Group #1:  
Discussion Expert: Margaret Burnham
Author of the acclaimed By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners

Breakout Discussion Group #2:  
Discussion Expert: Desmond Meade
Topic: The group will examine the disenfranchisement of the formerly incarcerated and the reinstatement of poll taxes as effective mechanisms for diluting the Black vote.

Breakout Discussion Group #3:  
Discussion Expert: Vincent Warren
Topic: A loophole in the 13th Amendment permits involuntary servitude/slavery for those 'duly convicted of a crime".  Do incarcerated citizens exist  out from under the umbrella of the privileges and immunities of the Constitution?

Breakout Discussion Group #4: 

Discussion Expert: Chesa Boudin, former San Francisco District Attorney 
Topic: The Politics of Criminal Justice Reform and the Criminalization of Poverty

1:45 PM

Lecturers Dr. William Darity, Jr. and Kirsten Mullen on “The Social Ecology of a Disposable People”

Swept into prison as part of an orchestrated frenzy that made 'black" and 'criminal' synonymous in the mind of the public, this population of serfs comprises 60% of America's prison population and exists far beyond the barrier reefs of basic Constitutional protections.  The legally sanctioned mechanisms of internal deportation crisscross the institutional and regulatory pillars of the state.  

Breakout Discussion Group #1:  
Discussion Expert: Douglas Blackmon
Topic: Slavery by Another Name – The Re-enslavement of People of African Descent, American Apartheid 

Breakout Discussion Group #2:  
Discussion Expert: Tasseli McKay

Topic: Stolen Wealth Hidden Power: Incarceration and Reparations. Social Exclusion and Economic Subjugation 

Breakout Discussion Group #3:  
Discussion Expert: Rasul Mowatt   

Topic: The Geographies of Threat: A Pedagogy of the State, Routledge Press, 2021. 

Policies and practices of dispossession and extraction are most evident in the geographical spaces created to contain those members of society who are deemed disposable. These physical spaces constitute a violent assault upon those who are constrained within.

Breakout Discussion Group #4:  
Discussion Expert: Rahsaan Hall

Topic: Juvenile Injustice - Life After Prison: Surveilled and Trapped Up in the System: CORI’s/ Rap Sheets, Stop and Frisk, Separation of Parents and Children, and Debunking the “SuperPredator” Mythology

3:00 PM
4:00 PM

Music of Liberation by The Ron Savage Trio and Larry Watson

Network Over Dinner, and see the Kalief Browder Documentary Preview Experience

17 year old  Kalief Browder spent three years in Rikers Island without trial for allegedly stealing a backpack.  He spent 700 days in solitary confinement. Two years after his release in 2013, he committed suicide by hanging in his parent's home. 

Day 1

Day Two

The Vote, Caste, and the Carceral State

Sunday, January 29, 2023

11:00 AM

Lecturer Goodwin Liu on “Education, Equality, and the Constitution.” 

A look at the 14th Amendment and the carceral state. Black people have always been heavily overrepresented in prisons, including as a post-emancipation forced labor source in the South.

Breakout Discussion Group #1: 
Discussion Expert: Nicholas Lemann

Topic: Ending Affirmative Action and Constitutionalizing a Caste System

Breakout Discussion Group #2: 
Discussion Expert: Mark Rosenbaum

Topic: Detroit, School to Prison Pipeline: The Right to Literacies Required for the 21st Century, and Quality Education as a Constitutional Right 


Breakout Discussion Group #3: 
Discussion Expert: James Anderson

Topic: Direct Links Between Educational Progress, Securing the Power to Exercise the Right to Vote, and Political Power

12:15 PM
2:00 PM

Moving Forward/Next Steps: Unraveling the Carceral state - America beyond Mass Incarceration 

Contours of a Movement to end Mass Incarceration: This question underlies the reason for the conference:  What are the possibilities of non-reformist reform–of changes that, at the end of the day, unravel rather than widen the net of social control through criminalization? 


Michelle Alexander 

Kelly Lytle Hernandez

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Tasseli McKay

William Darity, Jr.

3:00 PM

Closing Remarks:


Janet Moses  
Margaret Burnham
Danny Glover 

Day 2
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