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Harvard Radcliffe Institute has shifted to primarily virtual operations and continues to monitor the coronavirus pandemic. See Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates.

Health Inequity in the Age of COVID-19

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Ensuring Health Equity for Persons with Disabilities

This Radcliffe webinar contextualizes the history of disability civil rights and considers what is necessary to achieve an equitable health outcome for persons with disabilities during this time of crisis.

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Health, Inequity, and COVID-19

Mary Bassett and Khalil Gibran Muhammad will discuss inequity and public health in the time of COVID-19, exploring how the virus exacerbates existing inequalities.

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POSTPONED: State Prisons and COVID-19

We regret to announce that this program has been postponed. Please check back in the coming days for updates, as well as for information about our related event elevating the voices of incarcerated people, their families, and communities affected by incarceration.


How should directors of state prison systems respond to the current pandemic? Patricia Caruso and Harold Clarke will draw on their decades of experience to address the particular challenges posed by COVID-19. They will consider possible solutions, including steps to protect both the incarcerated population and staff, repurposing prison garment shops to produce protective gear for people on the front lines, and responsible early release—all with the aim of contributing to lasting public safety. 

We welcome the participation of people who are directly impacted by crime and punishment in the Q and A portion of the program. Subsequent Radcliffe programming will seek to feature the perspectives of currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and of their families.

Speakers:

Patricia L. Caruso, former director, Michigan Department of Corrections

Harold W. Clarke, director, Virginia Department of Corrections; former director, Massachusetts Department of Corrections and Nebraska Department of Correctional Services; and former secretary, Washington State Department of Corrections

Moderator:

Kaia Stern, practitioner in residence: law, education, and justice at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and cofounder and director of the Prison Studies Project, Harvard University


Biographies:

Patricia L. Caruso [Courtesy of Patricia L. Caruso]Patricia L. Caruso spent 23 years with the Michigan Department of Corrections, including 9 years as a warden and almost 8 years as its director, serving as a cabinet member to Governor Jennifer Granholm. As director, she was responsible for the administration of Michigan’s correctional system, which included the adult prison system, probation and parole supervision, the parole board, community corrections, and all related administrative functions, including a budget of $2 billion. She is a member of the board of trustees of Lake Superior State University and chair of its foundation board. Caruso is also a member of the board of directors of the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS); a past president of the Association of State Correctional Administrators, the Association of Women Executives in Corrections, and the NAAWS; and a past vice president of the American Correctional Association (ACA). She was a winner of the ACA’s 2018 E.R. Cass Award, bestowed for lifetime correctional achievement. Caruso received a BA in political science and sociology from Lake Superior State University and a master of arts in comprehensive occupational education from the University of Michigan.

Harold W. Clarke [Courtesy of Harold W. Clarke]Harold W. Clarke began his correctional career as a counselor at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. He rose through the department and became a warden at the Nebraska State Penitentiary before being appointed director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Since then, he has served as secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections and commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. Since November 2010, he has been the director of the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC). Among the VADOC initiatives under Clarke’s leadership is a focus on organizational development and improving reentry of offenders in the commonwealth. Clarke is also an adjunct faculty member and lecturer for the National Institute of Corrections. He has received a 2007 Honor D Award from Doane College in 2007; the 2012 Reentry Champion Award from Offender Aid and Restoration; the 2013 Visionary Leadership Award from the Muslim Chaplain Services of Virginia; a 2014 E.R. Cass Award from the American Correctional Association; and a 2019 Clements Award from the Correctional Leaders Association. He is also a trustee of the Academy of Professional Dialogue. Clarke has been invited to speak at the 2020 Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference, which will celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has also agreed to participate.

Kaia Stern [Photo by Brad Trent]Kaia Stern is the cofounder and director of the Prison Studies Project at Harvard University, the first practitioner-in-residence at the Radcliffe Institute, the executive director of Concord Prison Outreach, and a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she leads the Transformative Justice Initiative. Her work focuses on ethics, justice, and education in prison. Stern is the author of Voices from American Prisons: Faith, Education, and Healing (Routledge, 2014). As a consultant, she has fostered partnerships among activists and law enforcement agencies, faith leaders and community-based organizations, victims’ rights advocates, and the US Department of Justice. Stern received her master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and her PhD from Emory University. She is ordained as an interfaith minister and has been teaching in and about US prisons for more than two decades.

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Confronting the Challenge of COVID-19 in American Indian Communities

In this Virtual Radcliffe program, two Indigenous professors of medicine will consider the implications of the pandemic for lives and livelihoods in contemporary American Indian communities.


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Equitable Readiness: Reimagining the Role of the Public Sector in the Wake of COVID-19

In this Radcliffe webinar, scholars and practitioners engage in a conversation about how to leverage the policy opportunities the epidemic presents for changes that could support an equitable public health response.

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When “Stay at Home” Isn’t Safe: Domestic Violence during COVID-19

In this Radcliffe webinar, scholars, public officials, community activists, and medical professionals join to discuss domestic violence in the midst of this public health crisis and consider ways to aid those in need.

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Naming Racism

Camara Phyllis Jones RI ’20 and David R. Williams will explore how we might overcome, “the somnolence of racism denial,” dismantle the system of racism, and put in its place a system in which all people can thrive.

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Decarceration and Community: COVID-19 and Beyond (Part I)

Part I of this discussion series focuses on people who are incarcerated and their families, exploring how systemic racism and mass criminalization threaten both incarcerated individuals and their communities

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Decarceration and Community: COVID 19 and Beyond (Part II)

The Radcliffe Institute is offering a two-part series of virtual programs to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on incarcerated people.

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Music in the Moment

Music has played a large social function during the coronavirus pandemic: from the daily balcony concerts in Italy to the virtual performances of countless orchestras, it has helped tie communities together where social distancing has atomized us. During this Radcliffe webinar, we will talk with musicians about their experience during the crisis—from the precarious position of performers without gigs to the healing role music can play.

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Amplifying Community Voices: LGBTQ Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19

This Radcliffe webinar brings together historians, physicians, and organizers to discuss the disparate impact of the pandemic on the physical and mental health of sexual and gender minorities.

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