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Becoming Ms. Burton: Reentry, Healing, and a New Way of Life
Participants Topeka K. Sam, Cory Greene, Susan Burton, Cecilia Clarke

Join social justice leader and author Susan Burton in a conversation with other reentry advocates and activists about the impact of mass incarceration—and the kind of powerful grassroots organizing led by the formerly incarcerated that is necessary to bring an end to the discriminatory policies and attitudes that dehumanize people inside and outside prison walls.

Grief-stricken after the death of her young son, Burton self-medicated with drugs and, without help or treatment, cycled in and out of prison for fifteen years. Today, as a leader in the fight to end mass incarceration, Burton dedicates her life to supporting women facing similar struggles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, operates five safe homes in Los Angeles that offer a lifeline to hundreds of formerly incarcerated women and their children. Burton's work—and her memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton—not only personalizes the impact of mass incarceration, but also points the way to structural and policy changes that offer formerly incarcerated people greater access to lives of meaning and dignity.

Additional panelists include Cory Greene, co-founder, How Our Lives Link Altogether! (H.O.L.L.A.!), a nonprofit developed from the organizing work and political strategizing of people who served sentences in New York State correctional facilities, and Topeka K. Sam, co-founder, Hope House, a new program for single women returning to New York City from state or federal incarceration. Moderated by Cecilia Clarke, President, Brooklyn Community Foundation. Produced in partnership with The New Press and Brooklyn Community Foundation.

The program will be followed by a book signing with Susan Burton. Limited copies of Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women will be given to early arrivals on a first-come, first-served basis.

Video courtesy of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation.

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