15th Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture
15th Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture
Sister Helen Prejean recently visited Hampshire College to give a talk on her life and work as an anti-death penalty activist. Prior to her lecture she sat down with Aurelis Troncoso and Tesh Pimentel, members of student organization, the Decolonize Media Collective, a group for which TRGGR co-founder Chris Tinson serves as faculty advisor.
In what Sister Helen called “the best radio interview she’s ever done,” Aurelis and Tesh ask about her background as an activist and public advocate for the oppressed and incarcerated, and get her thoughts on a range of issues including alarming rates of women’s imprisonment, the school-to-prison pipeline, education for empowerment, and the historical relationship between enslavement and the death penalty. Props to these up-and-coming media activists for their first interview!
About Sister Helen: Sister Helen Prejean is a death penalty activist, helping to shape the Catholic Church’s opposition to state executions. She is the author of Dead Man Walking, an account of her relationship with death row inmate Patrick Sonnier, which became an Academy Award-winning movie, an opera, and a play. Prejean divides her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners. She also authored The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, released by Random House in December of 2004, and is presently at work on another book.
About the DMC: The Decolonize Media Collective (DMC) is a student of color collective (and their allies) dedicated to promoting domestic and international social justice struggles through media. We view media as a critical site of struggle over issues of race, identity, class, gender and power.
Event date: September 20, 2012
Location: Hampshire College Media Basement
Run time: 25:31
Ashanti Omowali Alston is an anarchist activist, speaker, and writer, and former member of the Black Panther Party. Even though the party no longer exists, Alston continues refers to himself as a Black Panther, and as “the @narchist Panther”, a term he coined in his popular @narchist Panther Zine series. He was also member of the Black Liberation Army, and spent more than 11 years in prison after government forces captured him and the court system convicted him of “bank robbery” (more that 14 years total). Ashanti, like most anarchist freedom fighters, disputes the moral issues of property and terms his activity in the B.L.A. as “bank expropriation”. Alston was the former northeast coordinator for Critical Resistance (anti-prison industrial complex and abolitionist organization) and is a former board member of the Institute for Anarchist Studies. He is currently a Steering Committee member of the National Jericho Movement (to free U.S. political prisoners), a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Ashanti draws on decades of experience as a human being struggling for justice and uniquely connects various struggles—from black internationalism to the Zapatista movement, to anarchism, to prison abolition, to queer liberation, to radical feminism, to people of color struggles, to earth liberation—with critical insight and humility.