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UNI to host discussion on racial justice in America

March 25, 2011

Kolby Knupp, graduate assistant, UNI Center for Multicultural Education, 319-273-2250,

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of colorblindness," will discuss how the "War on Drugs" targets black men and how the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control. Her lecture will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 30, at the Center for Multicultural Education on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. She holds a joint appointment at The Ohio State University with the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Prior to joining the OSU faculty, she was a member of the Stanford Law School faculty, where she served as director of the Civil Rights Clinic.

In "The New Jim Crow," Alexander argues that we have not ended racial caste in America – we have simply redesigned it. She discusses how it is legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the areas in which it was once legal to discriminate against African-Americans, such as employment, housing, education, public benefits and the right to vote. She challenges the civil rights community – and all of us – to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kolby Knupp, graduate assistant in UNI's Center for Multicultural Education, at 319-273-2250 or