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Scholar-activist Ruth Gilmore to speak on policing reforms

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Melissa Osgood
Ruth Gilmore

Is “community policing” the solution to police violence? Award-winning scholar-activist Ruth Wilson Gilmore will discuss proposed policing alternatives and the possibility for change as Cornell’s 2016 Krieger Lecturer in American Political Culture.

Her talk, “Organized Abandonment and Organized Violence: Devolution and the Police,” will be held March 3 at 4:30 pm in Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall. The event is free and the public is welcome.

“At a time of heightened concern about policing issues and when the city of Ithaca is considering changes to its drug policy, we feel fortunate to be able to bring Professor Gilmore to Cornell,” says George Hutchinson, professor of English, the Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture and acting director of the American Studies Program. “Her work as a scholar and as an activist concerned with mass incarceration of African-Americans and the prison industrial complex, as well as environmental justice, is impressive.  She has won major awards for her scholarship, and she is a dynamic lecturer.”

Gilmore is professor of earth and environmental sciences, and American studies, at the City University of New York. Her prize-winning book “Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California” (2007) provided an exposition of the political and economic forces that led to the prison boom in agricultural areas of California during the 1980s and 90s.

“Professor Gilmore has been a courageous voice in calling for a fundamental reconsideration of the assumptions and paradigms that have rendered the prison system necessary in the first place,” says Rob Scott, executive director of the Cornell Prison Education Program.

Gilmore is a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and The Caribbean, and serves on the boards of many social justice, cultural and scholarly organizations in the U.S., Europe and West Asia. She was a founding member of Critical Resistance, California Prison Moratorium Project and other grassroots organizations.

The Krieger lecture was endowed by Sanford ’65 and Carol Krieger in 2000 in the American Studies Program.

Linda B. Glaser is a staff writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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