Just Societies LIVE: Columbia Professors Bruce Western & Damon Phillips

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Join us on Facebook Tuesday at noon with host Michael Friedman.

When: Tuesday, March 5, 2019; 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Where: Tune in remotely on Facebook.*
Topic: "Homeward: Reintegrating into Society after Prison"
Guests: Columbia Professors Bruce Western & Damon Phillips

The March 5 episode is the first of several Just Societies Facebook Live programs featuring faculty from Columbia School of Social Work and schools across Columbia University.

Columbia professors Bruce Western and Damon Phillips will be interviewed by Michael Friedman on the topic of reintegrating into society after prison.

Pictured here is Federico Martino '18BUS, who is co-teaching a negotiating skills class at Taconic Correctional Facility, a medium-security state prison for women in Bedford Hills (courtesy of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise).

About This Week's Guests

In the era of mass incarceration, over 600,000 people are released from federal or state prison each year in the US, with many returning to chaotic living environments rife with violence. How do former prisoners navigate reentering society? Should our society be more proactive in assisting them?

In his latest book, Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, Bruce Western, Bryce Professor of Sociology and Social Justice and co-director of the Justice Lab at Columbia University, examines the tumultuous first year after release from prison. Drawing from in-depth interviews with over a hundred individuals, he describes the lives of the formerly incarcerated and demonstrates how poverty, racial inequality, and failures of social support trap many in a cycle of vulnerability despite their efforts to rejoin society.

Damon Phillips, the Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, co-directs Columbia Business School’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and is the creator of the REAP (ReEntry Acceleration Program) Immersion, a new full-semester course designed to introduce current and future business leaders to the impact of the US criminal justice system on employment and entrepreneurship prospects for formerly incarcerated people.

About the Host

Michael Friedman is a social worker with over 50 years of experience in mental health and public policy. He has chaired, founded, or directed numerous city and state agencies and published approximately 200 articles, chapters, and essays, including a parody, The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas. He teaches at the Columbia School of Social Work and writes about mental health, aging, and other topics.


Please contact swcommunications@columbia.edu.

*Links to FB Live Sessions are not generated until the event has started. Register to receive a reminder as well as a link to the stream shortly after the program begins (the link isn’t generated until we go live). Alternatively, you can go to CSSW's Facebook page at noon. The stream will appear as the first post on the page.

The Columbia Commitment to Just Societies, one of the pillars of the University-wide campaign, encourages support for Columbians, students, and faculty, working on fairness in every discipline—from law to public health, from social science and data science to social work and health care delivery. Learn more.

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