Author to visit Benedictine to discuss book, issue of mass incarceration

April 10, 2015

Alexander--(credit-to-Zocalo-Public-Square)Lisle, Illinois ~ The impact of racial injustice in the American legal system will be the focus of a lecture by civil-rights-lawyer-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21 in the Krasa Student Center at Benedictine University.

The event, which caps a community-wide reading group discussion of her 2010 book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness,” is free and open to the public.

The book’s title draws a comparison between the discrimination non-violent criminals face today after release from prison with those once applied to blacks in the segregated South. Today, individuals labeled as felons can be denied the right to vote and be legally discriminated against when it comes to employment, housing, access to education and public benefits – all factors that contribute to recidivism.

Alexander has been invited to speak at Benedictine as part of the nonpartisan Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) Speaker Series. Established in 2005 under the direction of former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, a 1968 Benedictine graduate and Distinguished Fellow, the CCL seeks to shape a new generation of public leaders and responsible citizens.

Alexander is a former director of the Racial Justice Project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, where she helped to lead a national campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement. While an associate at the law firm of Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, she specialized in plaintiff-side class action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination.

She currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Alexander was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics.

For more information about the lecture, visit or contact Jen Zingg at (630) 829-6460 or


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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