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Mass Incarceration and the Challenges with Reentry

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Edendale Branch Library

2011 Sunset Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90026

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Farah Godrej discusses with Tim Kornegay and Billy Taing mass incarceration and the challenges of reentry.

Dr. Godrej is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside. Her areas of research and teaching include Indian political thought, Gandhi’s political thought, cosmopolitanism, globalization, comparative political theory and environmental political thought. She is the author of Cosmopolitan Political Thought: Method, Practice, Discipline. Her new work examines the role of the yogic and meditative traditions of South Asia within U.S. mass incarceration.

Mr. Kornegay has served as canvassing consultant and field team lead for African American Voter Registration Education and Participation (AAVREP) doing disenfranchised and low propensity African American, system impacted voter registration that has netted 3,000 new registrations. He is the Justice Transformation and Voter engagement organizer at LA. Voice, a social justice organization. Since being released 2015 and joining LA. Voice, he has led teams of formerly incarcerated individuals in civic engagement and voter education campaigns that were instrumental in the passage of historic legislation to empower underserved communities. Mr. Kornegay also works with numerous coalition organizations to help end mass incarceration, while increasing rehabilitation options statewide.

Mr. Taing is a former lifer who was incarcerated for 21 years. Before his incarceration, he was a member of the U.S. Army National Guard. During his time in prison, he took advantage of the rehabilitation programs, obtained an A.A. degree in general studies and embraced meditation practices. He and his family are refugees from Cambodia. When Mr. Taing was a toddler, his father was murdered by the Khmer Rouge during the height of the ethnic cleansing campaign. His family was then placed in a labor camp for 3 ½ years until his mother escaped, with him and his older brother, to the border of Thailand. Mr. Taing's family temporarily resettled in Georgia with the assistance of a Christian organization. Since his re-entry back into society in 2016, he has strived to be a productive member of his community. He is active in several non-profit organizations, including Asian Pacific Islander Reentry & Inclusion through Support and Empowerment (API RISE), where he is serves as their Outreach Coordinator. He continues to advocate for immigration and social justice reform.

This program is part of the Book to Action series at Edendale Branch Library. Book to Action takes the basic book club concept and expands it to create a dynamic series of events for adults. Community members read and discuss an engaging book on a current topic, attend author or speaker events, and put their newfound knowledge into action by participating in a community service project or civic engagement activity related to the book. Rachel Kushner's The Mars Room is the chosen book this year and the topics discussed are incarceration and reentry. The final community service project is to create welcome home kits for the women in the reentry program, A New Way of Life.

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Edendale Branch Library

2011 Sunset Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90026

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