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U.S.: Timely New Memoir Addresses Drug War, Mass Incarceration, Reentry Issues

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Anthony Papa’s Timely New Memoir Addresses the Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Reentry Issues as President Obama and Congress Seek Criminal Justice Reform

Book Release Event Coincides with Celebration of Papa’s 10-Year Anniversary at the Drug Policy Alliance

This Side of Freedom: Life After Clemency, a riveting, compelling tale about the life of activist, writer and artist Anthony Papa, will be released on Wednesday, May 25. Papa tells firsthand of his experience of returning home after serving 12 years of a 15-to-life sentence for a non-violent drug law violation, sentenced under the mandatory provisions of the Rockefeller Drug Laws of New York state.

While behind bars, Papa found his passion for art and his haunting self-portrait “15 to Life” ended up showing in the Whitney Museum. Papa used his art and personal story to generate a wave of media attention and in 1997 he was granted executive clemency by New York Governor George Pataki. Papa literally painted his way to freedom.

Papa says that the freedom he fought so hard to get smacked him swiftly in the face, overpowering him. He struggled with his own freedom while fighting to free those he left behind. Papa goes through heart-wrenching trials and tribulations as he seeks to rebuild his life and continue his fight to end the War On Drugs.

U.S.: Town Hall With Dr. Angela Davis Will Look At Ending America's Obsession With Prisons

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Live Interview with Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele

Opportunity for Public to Listen In & Ask Questions: RSVP Required

Dr. Angela Davis, political activist and Distinguished Professor Emerita from the University of California, Santa Cruz, will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele on Monday, April 11 from 4–5pm EST, for a discussion about America’s obsession with punishment and prisons and how to heal from the policies that have destroyed families and communities after nearly 50 years of the Drug War.

As Democracy Now describes Angela Davis: "For more than four decades, the world-renowned author, activist and scholar has been one of most influential activists and intellectuals in the United States. An icon of the 1970s black liberation movement, Davis’ work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements across several generations. She is a leading advocate for prison abolition, a position informed by her own experience as a fugitive on the FBI’s Top 10 most wanted list more than 40 years ago."

Angela Davis’s talk is the seventh in a series of quarterly telephone town halls sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance. The conversations seek to bring some of the most learned and influential people working in the field of drug policy before the general public so that together we can create an ever-more informed and shared understanding about drugs and society.

Virginia: Drug Policy Reform Conference To Feature Black Lives Matter Cofounder

PatrisseCullorsBlackLivesMatter[Twitter]

Thursday, November 19: International Drug Policy Reform Conference to Feature Town Hall Meeting Featuring BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors and Leading Drug Policy Reform Activists

The Drug War is a primary source of funding for the tanks in towns like Ferguson, the over-policing in New York City and the unprecedented discretion given to police officers to criminalize black people. With the meteoric rise of the Movement for Black Lives and the growing movement for broader drug policy reform, what are the essential questions that drug policy reformers must ask themselves about black lives? And how can we join forces to course correct and create a world where all our communities can thrive?

These questions and many more will be explored at a live town hall as part of the International Drug Policy Reform Conference, hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) in the Washington, D.C. area from Nov. 18-21. The conference brings together more than 1200 leading international experts, treatment providers, researchers, policymakers and key activists at the leading global forum on drug policy reform.

U.S.: Orange Is The New Black Author Piper Kerman Joins Drug War Discussion

PiperKerman[UniversityofNorthCarolinaWilmington]

Interview with DPA’s asha bandele on What Television Can and Can’t Tell Us About Women, the Drug War and Mass Incarceration

Piper Kerman, author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, joined the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele for a discussion on mass incarceration, women affected by the failed Drug War, and how television and media have approached these issues.

Piper’s book has been adapted into an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series for Netflix that serves as an entertaining and enlightening portrayal of her experience being incarcerated. She has been an influential force in revealing the injustices present in our criminal justice system while shining a humane light on people in prison.

Women are one of the fastest-growing segments of the prison population. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of women in state and federal prisons grew by an incredible 646 percent.

An estimated 61 percent of women in state prison and 56 percent of women in federal prison are mothers of minor children. Two-thirds of these parents are incarcerated for non-violent offenses, a substantial proportion of which are drug law violations.

DPA Fact Sheet: "Women, Prison and the Drug War"

Photo of Piper Kerman: University of North Carolina Wilmington

U.S.: Telephone Town Hall With 'Orange Is The New Black' Author Set For June 29

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Piper Kerman, author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele on Monday, June 29, from 1-2 pm, EST, for a discussion on mass incarceration, women affected by the failed drug war, and how television and media have approached these issues.

Piper’s book has been adapted into an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series for Netflix that serves as an entertaining and enlightening portrayal of her experience being incarcerated. She has been an influential force in revealing the injustices present in our criminal justice system while shining a humane light on people in prison.

Women are one of the fastest-growing segments of the prison population. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of women in state and federal prisons grew by 646 percent. An estimated 61 percent of women in state prison and 56 percent of women in federal prison are mothers of minor children.

Two-thirds of these parents are incarcerated for non-violent offenses, a substantial proportion of which are drug law violations.

Piper Kerman’s talk is the sixth in a series of quarterly telephone town halls sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance. The conversations seek to bring some of the most learned and influential people working in the field of drug policy before the general public so that together we can create an ever-more informed and shared understanding about drugs and society.

U.S.: Leading Neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart Challenges Lawmakers About Drugs And Addiction

CarlHartPhD

Award-Winning Author of High Price Has Pivotal TED Talk Released on 90th Anniversary of Malcolm X’s Birth

Ebony.com Covers Hart’s Special Telephone Town Hall About Drugs, Families, and What We Really Need to Do to Ensure Community Safety

Carl Hart, PhD, a neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, whose work has redefined how people are discussing addiction, on Tuesday released two more groundbreaking and deeply compelling talks, one before a TEDMED audience in Northern California; and another a special Telephone Town Hall attended by hundreds of advocates, policymakers, faith leaders and medical professionals, and covered by Ebony.com, the African American news and lifestyle site.

U.S.: Thursday, May 14 Town Hall On Teens And Drugs To Feature Expert Dr. Carl Hart

DrCarlHart(ColumbiaUniversity)

Dr. Hart Will Take Questions from Listeners

Dr. Carl Hart, Columbia University professor and the best-selling, award-winning author of High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele on Thursday, May 14, from 1 – 2 p.m., EDT for a discussion on how our current approaches to teaching our children about drugs fail – and actually make them more vulnerable to the harms of drug use.

Hart is also expected to explore the impact of drugs on the developing adolescent brain, as well as the myths and prejudices at the roots of drug prohibition.

Dr. Hart has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, Jon Stewart’s "The Daily Show," and other national media outlets. He is a dedicated scientist, activist and educator who has spent his career researching drugs and their impact on human beings.

His work addresses the rampant misinformation about drugs and their perceived harms, dispelling the prevailing myths that link crime, drugs and poor people of color.

Dr. Hart’s talk is the fifth in a series of quarterly telephone town halls sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance. The conversations seek to bring some of the most learned and influential people working in the field of drug policy before the general public so that together we can create an ever-more informed and shared understanding about drugs and society.

Texas: Telephone Town Hall Will Address Role of Faith Leaders in Legalizing Marijuana

FrederickHaynes[Friendship-WestBaptistChurch]

Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes, Senior Pastor of the 12,000-member congregation, Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, TX and Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele To Hold Telephone Town Hall

Special RSVP-Only Telephone Town Hall Will Allow Press and Public to Pose Their Own Questions

On Thursday, March 12, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, EST, Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor of Dallas’ Friendship-West Baptist Church and co-founder and leader of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele for a discussion about the role faith communities have to play in ending the Drug War. bandele is expected to discuss marijuana legalization with Rev. Haynes, stigma and how faith communities plan to help re-acclimate tens of thousands of people who are being decarcerated annually.

The quarterly town hall-style calls are designed to ensure that the nation’s leading organization working to end the war on drugs, is bringing before the widest audiences the most influential members in our nation and allowing for an open discussion with those who are on the ground and reforming drug war policies. In short, the calls are meant to host the discussions that the global community is having, and that policymakers in the US need to be having.

U.S.: 80 Organizations Come Together To Protect the Kids and End the Drug War

EndTheDrugWarSaveOurChildren

Broad Coalition Comprised of Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Immigration, Racial Justice, Human Rights Organizations

A diverse coalition of more than 80 civil rights, immigration, criminal justice, racial justice, human rights, libertarian and religious organizations are joined by notable figures such as Michelle Alexander in calling for an end to the War On Drugs in the name of protecting children both in Latin America and here in the United States.

The supporters of the letter -– which include the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Center for Constitutional Rights, Institute of the Black World, Presente.org, Students for Liberty, United We Dream, William C. Velasquez Institute, and the Working Families Organization -– are notable for their diversity in cause and focus, yet this issue unites them all.

In their letter of support for new policies, the coalition states:

"In recent weeks, the plight of the 52,000 unaccompanied children apprehended at the U.S. border since last October, many of whom are fleeing drug war violence in Central America, has permeated our national consciousness. The devastating consequences of the drug war have not only been felt in Latin America, they are also having ravaging effects here at home. All too often, children are on the frontlines of this misguided war that knows no borders or color lines."

U.S.: Award-Winning Filmmaker to Discuss Drug War, Mass Incarceration with Drug Policy Expert

EugeneJarecki(TheHouseILiveIn)

Eugene Jarecki, Award-Winning Filmmaker, and Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele Discuss Impact of The House I Live In and the Next Steps to Take in Ending the Drug War and Mass Incarceration

Eugene Jarecki, the award-winning filmmaker and director of the The House I Live In, on Monday will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele for a discussion on the film’s impact. DPA says its quarterly town hall-style conference calls are designed to ensure that the organization is bringing before the widest audiences, the most influential members in our community and allowing for an open discussion with those who are on the ground and reforming Drug War policies.

The teleconference with Jarecki is the second in DPA's national webinar series, and follows an initial discussion which was held in March with Michelle Alexander and can be heard here. The conversation was picked up by national media including CNN, The Huffington Post, Upworthy and AlterNet.

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