Featuring a conversation between Winnifred Sullivan and Julio Medina, this talk will focus on religious mobility within confined spaces, focusing on religious conversion within the American penal system. This conversation will not only explore the complexities of conversion within prisons, but also the ways in which religious faith -and activism- are integral components of the modern prison-industrial complex. Moderated by Brett Dignam, Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.
Winnifred Sullivan is Department Chair and Profess of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington and Affilliate Professor of Law at the Maurer School of Law. She is the author of Paying the Words Extra: Religious Discourse in the Supreme Court of the United States (Harvard 1994), The Impossibility of Religious Freedom(Princeton 2005), and Prison Religion: Faith-based Reform and the Constitution (Princeton 2009). Julio Medina is the Executive Director/Founder and CEO of Exodus Transitional Community, Inc. Under his leadership, Exodus Transitional Community (ETC) has served over 3,000 men and women and has become one of the most successful re-entry programs throughout the country. Professor Brett Dignam joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2010. She came to Columbia from Yale Law School, where she led the Prison Legal Services, Complex Federal Litigation and Supreme Court Advocacy clinics. An award-winning teacher, Professor Dignam has supervised students in a broad range of litigation matters and has designed and overseen workshops conducted by students for prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut on issues including immigration, sexual assault, and exhaustion under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. She has participated in major litigation in over 30 federal and state cases in the area of prisoners’ rights.
Fencing in God? – Religion, Immigration, and Incarceration is a semester-long series of events focused on the ways in which religion and mobility intersect with immigration and incarceration. Throughout the Spring 2013 term, the IRCPL will present three public lectures with scholars and activists intended to facilitate and encourage long-term discussions around the topics of religion, immigration, and incarceration.