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Beyond the Bars: Transforming (In)Justice

The Beyond the Bars Organizing Team

Ticket Information

Type Quantity
Friday, March 6th - Opening Event 7:30 - 9:30pm (Doors Open at 6:45pm)
Lerner Hall, Roone Arledge Auditorium 2920 Broadway New York NY 10027 **Use Broadway Entrance** Speakers include Michelle Alexander, Asha Rosa, Marlon Peterson, Eddie Conway, and performances by Impact Repertory Theatre, and hosted by Bryonn Bain. *Please bring your ticket either printed or accessible on your smart phone.
Friday, March 6th - 7:30-9:30pm - Livestreaming Option (Ticket not Required but you will receive updates with the livestream link) Free  
Saturday, March 7th -An Agenda for Transformative Change - Panels 10:00am to 5:30pm (Check-In will start at 9:15)
Columbia University School of Social Work 1255 Amsterdam Ave. New York NY 10027 (Between 121st and 122nd St) *Please bring your ticket either printed or accessible on your smart phone.
Saturday, March 7th - Livestreaming Option (Ticket not required but you will receive updates with the livestream link) Free  
Sunday, March 8th - Building the Grassroots - Organizing Workshops 1:00-4:00pm (Check-In will start at 12:30)
Columbia University School of Social Work 1255 Amsterdam Ave. New York NY 10027 (Between 121st and 122nd St)

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Event Details

There is a ticket for each day of the conference.  We ask that you please only register for the day(s) that you intend to come.  While we fully intend to acommodate everyone who registers, registration does not guarantee you a seat. Space at all events will be first come first seated for all registered attendees 

FOR THOSE WITHOUT TICKETS FOR FRIDAY NIGHT: There will be a stand by line on Friday in case seats are available. Folks will be admitted based on any seating that is still available after we have checked in those who are registered. 

BEYOND THE BARS: TRANSFORMING (IN)JUSTICE is the fifth annual student-driven interdisciplinary conference on mass incarceration held at Columbia University. Given the greater consciousness of mass incarceration in the US, this conference brings people from different spaces and places to dig deeper in the work of ending mass incarceration, building justice and engaging in action beyond the weekend.

The  conference launches Friday night with Michelle Alexander and several other powerful guest speakers and performances. It continues into Saturday with the goal of developing an agenda for transformative change around mass incarceration.   Panelists are coming from a wide range of disciplines, experiences and locations; from government and community-based organizations, to advocates and activists, to students, faculty and community members and to those most directly impacted by mass incarceration who are in all of these roles including formerly incarcerated people and their families. The conference concludes on Sunday with an afternoon of organizing workshops led by several grassroots groups working for change.

This year’s Beyond the Bars conference will focus on the idea of transformation.  The questions this conference will pose are: How do we work towards lasting transformative change? How do we develop a framework for changing the way our country seeks  justice that does not perpetuate the roots of the problems that have led us here? How do we create change that addresses the systemic marginalization while also addressing the need for individual accountability and the safety of our communities and our society? What is a transformative agenda for changing the way we seek justice?


Friday Night (Doors at 6:45 – Event Starts at 7:30)

Michelle Alexander
Impact Repertory Theatre
Asha Rosa
Marlon Peterson
Eddie Conway
Hosted by Bryonn Bain

Saturday Morning Panels

Transforming (In)Justice: Where Are We? Where Are We Going?  (10-11:30)
Rikers Island: A Case Study for Change (11:45 – 1:00)

Saturday Afternoon Panels 

Block 1 (2:00 – 3:30)
Gender and Justice: Women in the Struggle

Sentencing and Parole Reform
Punishment for Profit: The Economics of Mass Incarceration
Responses to Violence: Safety, Accountability and Justice
Education and Transformation Across the Carceral Continuum
Criminalizing Queerness: The LGBTQ Community in the Era of Mass Incarceration
Alternatives to Incarceration: Inside and Outside the Criminal Justice System
Health and Mental Health in the Era of Mass Incarceraiton

Block 2 (3:45 – 5:15)
Reentry, Reintegration and Resettlement: Beyond the Bars?
Racial and Economic Justice in the Era of Mass Incarceration
Police Accountability and Beyond: Developing Justice
Immigration, Incarceration and Justice
Families in the Struggle: Undoing the Harm of Mass Incarceration
Juvenile Justice: We Forgot they were Young
Ending the Punishment Paradigm: Solitary, Life Sentences, the Death Penalty, Collateral Consequences…..

Sunday Organizing Workshops

Important Notes for the Sunday Organizing Workshops 

There are limited slots for each workshop and they will likely fill up quickly.  Please note that many of the workshops are targeted for specific identities, positioning and experiences.

For StudentsOrganizing Students to End Mass Criminalization and Incarceration (Facilitated by Students Against Mass Incarceration)  

For people who are Formerly Incarcerated, their family members and those Organizing in Impacted Communities - From criminal justice to Human Justice: Organizing Strategies for Shifting Paradigm and Practice (Facilitated by the Center for NuLeadership)

For those in the Faith Community -  Grassroots Organizing: Seminarians for Justice (Facilitated by Seminarians from Union Theological Seminary) 

For Faith Based Organizations - Towards Justice: Organizing for Faith Based Organizations (Facilitated by Faith in New York)

Open to All - Organizing Against Empire: Realities of the People's Resistance (Facilitated by Tongo Eisen-Martin)

Open to All - FARMS NOT PRISONS: Using Food Justice to change the Criminal Punishment System  (Facilitated by Jalal Sabur and the Freedom Food Alliance)  

Open to All -Abolish THE BOX: Organizing to Challenge the Role of Higher Education in Perpetuating Mass Incarceration (Facilitated by the Incarceration to Education Coalition)


Location Information 

March 6th - Friday Night Kick Off Event 

Lerner Hall, Columbia University  

2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

(Broadway at 116th)

1 Train to 116th Street

March 7th & 8th - Saturday Panels and Sunday Workshops

Columbia University School of Social Work 

1255 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027

(Amsterdam between 122nd and 121st)                                                                

1 Train or AC/BD to 125th Street, walk to Amsterdam and head South

Conference Co-Sponsors

The conference is organized with support from the Columbia University School of Social Work, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the Institute for Research in African American Studies, the Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, the International Social Welfare Caucus at CSSW, the Queer Caucus at CSSW, the Mental Health Caucus at CSSW, Columbia University Students Against Mass Incarceration, the Association for Justice and Health (AJAH, Mailman), the Undoing Racism Internship Project, Students for a National Health Plan (SNaHp), Social Workers Against Criminalization, the National Association of Social Workers-NYC, and the Anti-Racist Alliance.

Important Information and FAQs

For Saturday Morning, there are 180 seats for the two plenaries. After we reach capacity there will be seats available in overflow rooms.

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event? -- ID is required, but all ages are welcome at this event and we strongly encourage young people to attend.

Will the event be livestreamed? -- Yes. Friday night will be livestreamed and the Saturday morning panels will also be livestreamed. Livestreaming can be viewed here:

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions? -- Please email with any questions.

Have questions about Beyond the Bars: Transforming (In)Justice? Contact The Beyond the Bars Organizing Team


Columbia University


The Beyond the Bars Organizing Team

The Beyond the Bars Organizing Team is led by the the Center for Justice at Columbia University, the Criminal Justice Caucus at Columbia School of Social Work and the Beyond the Bars Fellows. 

To learn more about the Center for Justice at Columbia University visit: 

  Contact the Organizer

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