News and Perspectives


Police, Prisons, and Legal Power: Reforming our U.S. System of Justice

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016, 1:30pm to 3:00pm, Elmer Andersen Library, Givens Conference Room (120)

According to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, “nationally, 1.4 million black men have lost the right to vote” due to felony conviction laws in various states, and today, “current housing for approximately 2 million Americans—two thirds of them African American or Hispanic—is a prison or jail cell.” Does the United States have two justice systems – one for people who are white and have resources – and one for people of color and the poor? From charges of profiling and unfair treatment by police, to racially-influenced decisions by prosecutors and the courts, to the construction of a prison system that is increasingly privatized and profit-based, critics describe a justice system that itself should be ‘held in contempt’ and is in need of major reforms. Gain insights from a discussion with panelists from higher education, law enforcement, community engagement, and the legal system, that may lead to useful changes in our justice system.

Panelists:  Keith Mayes, University of Minnesota Associate Professor, African American and African Studies; Mary Moriarty, Chief Public Defender, Hennepin County; Tomas E. Smith, (Retired) Chief of Police, City of St. Paul, Minnesota; Justin Terrell, Program Manager, Justice 4 All, Take Action Minnesota.

Moderator:  Kimberly Hewitt, Director, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, Office for Equity & Diversity.

For more information


Not “Just Words”: U of M Victim-Survivors of Sexual Assault Share Impact of Election

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Editor’s Note: In the case of all posts, the opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Minnesota or the University of Minnesota Women’s Center.

Content note for this blog post and accompanying video: sexual assault, sexual violence, rape culture.

News and Information

U’s conversations on Islamophobia are insufficient, students say

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sidhra Musani started high school at a private Islamic school. Now, she said she is the only visible Muslim in her advanced classes.

Musani enrolled at the University of Minnesota and became president of the Muslim Students Association, but she said she still worries her classmates judge her for wearing a hijab.

“I had to think three times [about] everything I was going to say,” she said, “because I knew that there is that pressure … whether you like or not, people are [going to] judge you for what you say, and they’re [going to] attribute it [to] your faith.”


Latest act of hate speech proves campus is not safe for all

Monday, November 7, 2016

This past week, two abhorrent incidents targeted the University of Minnesota’s Muslim community.

On Thursday, the spray-painted word “ISIS” was discovered on the Muslim Students Association’s Washington Avenue Bridge panel. A day earlier, the Horowitz Freedom Center distributed posters on campus alleging that a University group Students for Justice in Palestine is a front for Hamas.

These two events are distressing examples of the pernicious Islamophobia that exists within our campus community. We find great sorrow in these explicit messages of hate.


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"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.