Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ortique Lecture on Law and Society

Michelle Alexander with Mrs. Miriam Ortique (next to me) and members of the Ortique family
In 2010, Dillard University honored graduate Justice Revius Ortique, first Black Louisiana Supreme Court Justice, with a mock court room, named scholarships, and an annual lecture. The first lecturer was Attorney General Eric Holder. I was excited about this program but wanted to really get the community involved. So I sought out Michelle Alexander, author of the phenomenal book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness."

I had her speak at Philander last November, so I knew she was a home run hitter. And New Orleans responded. In a room that seats 400, we probably had 500 with people sitting on the floor, standing in the back, on the side, and out the door. Incredible audience to hear tough truths about Louisiana, the incarceration capital of the world.

I encourage EVERYONE to read the book. But more than that, as Michelle Alexander stated, I hope we start a revolution here to end mass incarceration.

The Prez