SOLD OUT Michelle Alexander, Author of “The New Jim Crow," to Speak at Saint Mary's College

Michelle Alexander, author of the best-selling book “The New Jim Crow,” will speak at Saint Mary's College on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015.
Michelle Alexander, author of the best-selling
book “The New Jim Crow,” will speak at
Saint Mary's College on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015.


Media Contact:
Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Ind.
(574) 284-4579

January 5, 2015 (Notre Dame, Ind.)— Saint Mary’s College is proud to host Michelle Alexander, author of the best-selling book “The New Jim Crow," on Monday, February 9 at 7 p.m. in O'Laughlin Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public. Due to anticipated high demand, this is a ticketed event. Beginning today, tickets may be reserved by calling the Moreau Box Office at (574) 284-4626 or going to

The talk comes at a time of undeniable racial tension in America. Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. Her book, published in 2010, explores cultural biases that many say still exist and how segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration. Her lecture is titled “Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” and will discuss racial injustice in the American legal system.

Alexander says there are more African Americans in prison than were enslaved in 1850. In her words, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” Alexander blames the “war on drugs” and says when prisoners leave jail they are labeled as felons and are stuck in an endless cycle of discrimination that keeps them from improving their lives because they can’t get a job, housing or health benefits. Alexander explores the criminal justice system from a racial and ethical standpoint, and offers ideas for combating what she calls an epidemic.

“We look forward to hearing Michelle Alexander’s very timely perspectives on these critical issues of race in our justice system with which our nation is so actively wrestling.  Bringing such speakers is part of our institution’s commitment, as outlined in Saint Mary’s strategic plan Boldly Forward, to be a ‘college where students learn to live, study, and work with intercultural awareness and competence,’” said Elaine Meyer-Lee, director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at Saint Mary's College.

Alexander has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of “The New Jim Crow.” That same year she accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, where she is an associate professor.

Since the book’s publication, “The New Jim Crow” has received rave reviews and has been featured in national radio and television media outlets, including MSNBC, NPR, Bill Moyers Journal, Tavis Smiley, C-SPAN, and Washington Journal, among others. The book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best nonfiction.

The Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, the Division for Student Affairs, the Center for Spirituality, and the Office of Special Events are sponsors of the event.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. By the fall of 2015, pending accreditations anticipated in the spring, Saint Mary’s College will offer two graduate degrees: a Master of Science and a Doctorate. All programs that fall under these degrees are co-educational and include a Master of Science in Data Science, a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate students, develop their talents, and prepare them to make a difference in the world. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2015 published by U.S. News & World Report.

~Press release composed by media relations intern Haleigh Ehmsen ’16, a communication studies and English writing double major.