13th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration with Pulitzer Prize Winner James Forman, Jr.

Sunday, Mar 10, 2019 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

The 13th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration features keynote speaker James Forman, Jr., the 2018 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. The event will also include performances from the Serendipity Choir and the Regional School of the Arts. (Note: this program was re-scheduled from a prior date because of inclement weather on the original date.)

The celebration is co-sponsored by The Westport Library and Westport Country Playhouse in partnership with TEAM Westport and the Westport/Weston Interfaith Council. Seating is unreserved. Complimentary refreshments will be served in the Playhouse lobby after the presentation.

Location: Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court

The Westport/Weston Family YMCA will provide childcare and activities in the Lucille Lortel White Barn, Sheffer Studio, adjacent to the theater.

Former public defender James Forman, Jr. is a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. Forman graduated from Atlanta’s Roosevelt High School, Brown University, and Yale Law School. He worked as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. After clerking, he joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented juveniles and adults in felony and misdemeanor cases. 

Professor Forman has written many law review articles, in addition to op-eds and essays for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Nation, and The Washington Post. His first book is the critically acclaimed Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America (2017), which explores how decisions made by black leaders, often with the best of intentions, contributed to disproportionately incarcerating black and brown people. A Washington Post bestseller, Locking Up Our Own was longlisted for the National Book Award and has been named a Best Book of the Year by numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Marshall Project, Publisher’s Weekly, and GQ. Reviewers have called the book “superb and shattering” (New York Times), “eloquent” and “sobering” (London Review of Books), and “moving, nuanced, and candid” (New York Review of Books). On Twitter, The New York Times book reviewer Jennifer Senior called Locking Up Our Own “the best book I’ve read this year.” The book was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in April 2018.


Westport Country Playhouse
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