September 27, 2023

St Paul, Minn. (April 11, 2017) — The fourth annual forum on Understanding and Responding to Mass Incarceration will feature discussions on the effects of incarceration on mental health and resilience, trauma and the “prison pipeline” on people of color—and particularly as they pertain to Native American males.

Metropolitan State University invites and encourages media to attend this event, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 14, at the Saint Paul Campus, 700 East 7th Street. For those not in attendance the event will also be live streamed and can be viewed by visiting and clicking the appropriate link.

This year’s forum, with the theme The Role of Trauma, Pathways to Healing, will include panelists who are formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as those who work in some capacity to maintain or reform the criminal justice system.

Metropolitan State University President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur will open the forum. Keynote speakers Dr. Reba Peoples, M.D., will talk on “Tools for Transcendence: Why Resilience in the Face of Trauma Isn’t Enough,” and Antony Stately, Ph.D., will discuss “Kill the Indian, Jail the Man: Historical Trauma, Colonization, Micro-aggressions and the Prison Pipeline for Native American Men, Women and Children.”

A pre-conference event will feature a free screening and discussion of Ava DuVernay’s award-winning film, 13th, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 13, at Founders Hall auditorium, Saint Paul Campus. The discussion will be facilitated by Jason Sole, Metropolitan State University alum, Minneapolis NAACP President and advocate for justice system reform.

In previous years, this forum has addressed numerous topics surrounding the effects of incarceration, such as access to prevention, intervention and re-entry services, racism and implicit bias in the judicial/corrections systems, sentencing guidelines, youth incarceration, and the restoration of civil rights for those who have completed their sentences.

The annual forum began in response to practicum students from Alcohol and Drug Counseling and Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice majors reading of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Metropolitan State University hosted its inaugural Understanding and Responding to Mass Incarceration forum on April 17, 2014. The discussion between students, educators, legislators, lobbyists, corrections officials, law enforcement, and community activists has grown from its inaugural attendance of 80 to an expected attendance of more than 300 this year.  For more information, contact Raj Sethuraju at [email protected] or 763-657-3750.

Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is the Twin Cities’ public, urban, comprehensive state university providing lifelong learning, and competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.