Panel Discussion on Racism and Mass Incarceration

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 noon to 1 p.m.

Mass incarceration affects millions of Americans, and even though 1 in every 4 adults has a prior conviction, returning citizens face significant discrimination. A prior conviction can make it hard to find employment, a place to live and the right to drive. People who have been incarcerated are prohibited from employment opportunities in law enforcement, the school system, and hospitals, and oftentimes employers automatically reject applicants due to a felony conviction. It can also make it hard to pursue education and to pursue a professional discipline such as nursing, medicine, teaching, real estate, insurance, transportation, financial services, and the practice of law.

During this panel, speakers who have been impacted by the criminal justice system will share their stories and offer suggestions for how attendees can actively practice anti-racism and support criminal justice reform.

Zoom Registration:
A YouTube live stream link will also be shared soon.

This panel is part of Illuminating the Darkness: Our Carceral Landscape exhibition programming and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit

Featured speakers:

Daniel McCarthy Clifford is an artist and co-convener of Just Education, which studies the ripple effects and collateral damage of mass incarceration in Minnesota.

Christopher Etienne is a multi-media strategist and tutor for the New Jersey STEP Program, which helps formerly incarcerated people pursue a college education.

Jason Fronczek is an artist and the program coordinator for the Florida Prison Education Project, which brings higher education opportunities to people incarcerated in Florida.

Terrell Blount is a motivational speaker, mentor, and activist for both prison reform and civil rights, as well as a program officer of higher education in prison for the Laughing Gull Foundation and the director of the Formerly Incarcerated College Graduates Network (FICGN).

Jhafis Quintero is a Panamanian artist and activist based in Switzerland who works to raise awareness of the deleterious effects of incarceration and solitary confinement.

Marquis McKenzie is the founder and president of Community Outreach Enterprise, which teaches entrepreneurship to youth impacted by the criminal justice system, and the regional organizer for the Central Florida Chapter of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC).

Gale Buswell is an organizer for the Central Florida Chapter of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) and a volunteer with ReNEW, a program for incarcerated women.

Ruben Saldaña is the founder of Ru Camp Florida, a Youth Crime Prevention Hub of the United States Fight League, which utilizes Youth Mixed Martial Arts and Credible Messenger Mentors for at-risk kids.

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