Professional Development Initiative

Please join the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship (RIC) as we embark on a new project aimed at professional development for JHU PhD students, assisting with career planning beyond traditional academic employment. Funded by a grant from the Provost’s Professional Development Innovation Initiative, RIC is inaugurating a set of workshops over the next two years about careers in reform of the criminal punishment system, broadly construed. These workshops will feature a number of speakers with graduate training in humanities/social sciences who are working on alternatives to mass incarceration in the United States. These workshops will allow JHU PhD students to learn about several different types of organizations and how they might use their doctoral training in this sphere, as well to network with leaders in this area. These workshops will be led by JHU faculty Nathan Connolly (History), Stuart Schrader (Sociology), Christy Thornton (Sociology), and Vesla Weaver (Political Science & Sociology).

Fall 2021 Workshop

Lobbying and Legislative Action to Reduce Incarceration
A PhD Professional Development Career Workshop

Friday, November 19, 2021 11:00am to 12:30pm (on Zoom)
Register here for Zoom link
Audience: JHU PhD students in humanities, social sciences, public health, medicine, etc., as well as undergraduates, faculty, staff

Katy Walker, PhD
Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights

Please join the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship (RIC) for our Fall 2021 workshop on post-PhD careers in non-reformist reform of the criminal punishment system.

Dr. Katy Walker will discuss her work for the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, particularly its long-running campaign to abolish sentences of juvenile life without parole. This campaign has achieved significant success in reducing death-in-prison sentences for juveniles, first in 2017 with the abolition of juvenile life without parole for second-degree murder, and again in 2020 with the abolition of virtual life sentences. Despite these gains, the work to achieve complete abolition is ongoing. Dr. Walker will explain how she has used her PhD to guide her legislative work and discuss her experiences working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in Louisiana. She will also address some of the challenges and rewards of working with legislators to overcome strong legacies of racism in the criminal punishment system.

Dr. Walker will be in dialogue with Christy Thornton (JHU Sociology and Latin American Studies)

Previous Workshops:

Spring 2021 Workshop

Archives of State Violence and Research for Justice
A PhD Professional Development Career Workshop
Friday, March 12, 2021, 11am to 12:30pm
Audience: JHU PhD students in humanities, social sciences, public health, medicine, etc.

Please join the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship (RIC) for our Spring 2021 workshop on post-doctoral careers in reform of the criminal punishment system.

On Friday, March 12, from 11am to 12:30pm, we will hold a workshop titled “Archives of State Violence and Research for Justice,” a PhD professional development career workshop featuring Dr. Alex Galarza (University of Delaware) and Dr. Brie Gettleson (Haverford College), moderated by Dr. Heather Furnas (JHU Sheridan Libraries) and Dr. Stuart Schrader (JHU RIC).

This event is aimed at JHU PhD students interested in considering careers in archives and libraries, as well as PhD students interested in career paths considering the carceral state beyond the United States, particularly in Latin America.

Galarza and Gettleson will discuss their Andrew W. Mellon Foundation–supported international and collaborative digital scholarship project titled “Digitizing the Disappeared: Partnerships to Publish Digital Scholarship on Guatemala’s Desaparecidos.” The project is supporting the digital publication of case files from the archives of the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM), a human rights organization in Guatemala founded in 1984 by women searching for their murdered loved ones during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960­–1996). This project involves students, scholars, and human rights activists in building a digital archive and sharing knowledge that can shift historical memory of the conflict, building on the work of the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional, a collection of records relating to the national police of Guatemala.

This conversation will address practical questions about applying doctoral training to archival practice, as well as explaining the challenges and rewards of cross-border institutional collaboration with human rights organizations.

Fall 2020 Workshop

The first workshop will be a discussion about education in prison, featuring three speakers who work on college in prison, Jessica Neptune (Bard Prison Initiative), Kaitlin Noss (NYU Prison Education Program), and Amy Roza (Goucher Prison Education Partnership).

This workshop will take place from 4pm to 5:30pm via Zoom on Thursday, October 22. Graduate students from across JHU schools are welcome to attend.

This workshop, which is open only to JHU students and faculty, will then be followed immediately by a public-facing panel on “The Future of Education in Prison” from 6pm to 7:30pm via Zoom also on Thursday, October 22, moderated by Dr. Vesla Weaver.

The public panel, “The Future of Education in Prison,” will feature Jessica Neptune (Bard Prison Initiative), Kaitlin Noss (NYU Prison Education Program), and Amy Roza (Goucher Prison Education Partnership), speaking about current trends in education in prison. The speakers will outline how their organizations operate, including the different types of education in prison and various roles that educators play, and detail some of their recent experiences. They will also explain how college and graduate students can become involved in education in prison.

RIC Education in Prison poster