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updated: 12/18/2012 11:06 AM

Bahai's to host workshop on 'The New Jim Crow' Dec. 29

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Yvor Stoakley

A special workshop and film presentation featuring a talk given by best-selling author, Michelle Alexander, on her book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," will be held at the Round Lake Area Library on Saturday, Dec. 29 from 12:30 to 4:30 pm.

Ms. Alexander, a Professor of Law at The Ohio State University, was an active civil rights litigator after graduating from Stanford Law School. Both her civil rights advocacy and research brought her to the realization that a new form of racism has taken root in America despite the nation's alleged "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama.

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Unfortunate as it is, thousands of young men, most of them black or Latino, are being locked behind bars or labeled felons for life for minor non-violent crimes usually associated with the "war on drugs." Although Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books in the closing decades of the 20th century, an alarming number of members of the African American community remain trapped in a type of lower "caste system" created by this disproportionate treatment. In her book, she convincingly argues that we have not ended racial caste in America, we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system effectively fosters, whether knowingly or not, a new form of racism.

This workshop is an individual initiative by members of the Baha'i Faith to foster awareness of this issue and build relationships grounded in mutual understanding and a willingness to confront this most challenging issue.

All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. For additional information and to RSVP, call 847-546-3479 .

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