Friday, April 7, 2017

New Jim Crow Panel

Thank you for calling our attention to the panel at Edgewood College last evening.

Seeing five panelists on stage who had spent many years in Wisconsin prisons was a living image of the book many of us read, The New Jim Crow. Four panelists were black men and one a white woman. All but one was a member of EXPO (Ex Prisoners Organizing.) The evening was a dialogue with students who had read the book and the five who had experienced the deliberativeness of a system that keeps people of color out of civic life.  When people are labeled as felons and/or registered sex offenders for the rest of their lives, they are prohibited from work as health professionals or federal employees. They cannot live in federally subsidized housing. They may be tracked with an ankle bracelet or on parole for many years. “The system is not broken,” a couple of the panelists emphasized. The system separates black people and other people of color from the rest of society in the same way that slavery and Jim Crow have in the past.

How can we join with ex prisoners, who know the system only too well, to systemically change this racially biased system?  That was the question that sends us to learn more and join with others to undo racism.


  1. My heartfelt thanks go out to the EXPO panel who so openly and honestly shared their experiences with the social/criminal justice system. Their sincerity in extending help to others who are struggling after incarceration is humbling. Each panelist is involved in a different way that supports those re-entering society. They are a true testament to endurance, tenacity and the will to change their lives for the positive development of themselves and others. A humbling experience, indeed, as well as an inspiration. Thank you, Ms. Joy A. E. Morgen

    1. Thanks for replying. Remember the intention of this page is that it is a dialogue. I hope others will begin leaving comments as well.