The New Jim Crow Community Read

Joe Brusky - Overpass Light Brigade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Flickr

Mass incarceration is one of the country’s most urgent and devastating social crises. In 2016, the Multicultural Resource Center brought together over 30 community organizations across Tompkins County to  build local resistance to this epidemic.

Between September 2016 and May 2017, over 700 community members joined a Community Read of Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The project distributed 2,000 copies of the book, coordinated over 35 book groups, and held over a dozen public events, including a monthly lecture for each chapter of the book.

WRFI Community Radio was on hand to document these monthly public discussions. Listen to them on  WRFI 88.1 Ithaca, 91.9 Watkins Glen the following Saturdays at 3pm and find them archived here at

September 9 (repeating 7am, Tuesday September 19)
Chapter 1: From Chains to Prison Bars
with Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell

September 23
Chapter 2: Roundup, Locked Up: What’s the Point of Knowing Your Rights?
with Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick & Edwin Santiago

October 7
Chapter 3: The Color of Justice
Lecture and performance with Dr. Nia Nunn

October 21
Chapter 4: Felons Need Not Apply A simulation exercise
with Ultimate ReEntry Opportunity

November 4
Chapter 6: Dismantling the Master’s House
Public discussion facilitated by Black Lives Matter Ithaca

November 18
Taking Action to End the New Jim Crow: Addressing Mass Incarceration Locally
with the Multicultural Resource Center.

*The event for Chapter 5: Make America Safe Again was an interactive performance presented by the Civic Ensemble’s ReEntry Theater. Due to the nature of the event, it cannot be effectively broadcast.


Confront mass incarceration at

Donate your copy of the book to an incarcerated person at

Photo: Joe Brusky - Overpass Light Brigade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Flickr