in partnership with New America

2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner Professor James Forman Jr. Visits CORE: -

In conversation with Anne-Marie Slaughter


The war on crime that began in the 1970s had devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. What’s surprising is that it was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. Why?

This and more is the subject of Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Professor James Forman Jr. A former public defender in Washington, D.C., Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims trapped in terrible dilemmas. In so doing, Professor Forman enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and criminal justice system in this country.

Join him and New America CEO, Anne-Marie Slaughter, for a conversation on race, criminal justice reform and mass incarceration. This event marks the beginning of the 20th anniversary year of the New America National Fellows Program, celebrating the publication of over 100 books and the selection of more than 200 National Fellows.

About James Forman Jr:
James Forman Jr. is a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He attended public schools in Detroit and New York City before graduating from the Atlanta Public Schools. After attending Brown University and Yale Law School, he worked as a law clerk for Judge William Norris of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. After clerking, he joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented both juveniles and adults charged with crimes.

Professor Forman loved being a public defender, but he quickly became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. So in 1997, along with David Domenici, he started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. A decade later, in 2007, Maya Angelou School expanded and agreed to run the school inside D.C.’s juvenile prison. That school, which had long been an abysmal failure, has been transformed under the leadership of the Maya Angelou staff; the court monitor overseeing D.C.’s juvenile system called the turnaround “extraordinary.”

At Yale Law School, where he has taught since 2011, Forman teaches Constitutional Law and a course called Race, Class, and Punishment. Last year he took his teaching behind prison walls, offering a seminar called Inside-Out Prison Exchange: Issues in Criminal Justice, which brought together, in the same classroom, 10 Yale Law students and 10 men incarcerated in a CT prison.

Professor Forman has written many law review articles, in addition to op-eds and essays for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Republic, the Nation, and the Washington Post. Locking Up Our Own is his first book.

He lives in New Haven with his wife Ify Nwokoye, a nurse practitioner and yoga instructor, and their 8-year old son Emeka, who loves sports, travel, and defying his parents. Twitter Handle: @JFormanJr

About Anne-Marie Slaughter:
Anne-Marie Slaughter is the CEO of New America, a think and action tank dedicated to renewing America in the Digital Age. She is also the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009–2011, she served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Upon leaving the State Department she received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, as well as meritorious service awards from USAID and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. Prior to her government service, Dr. Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.

Dr. Slaughter has written or edited eight books, including The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World (2017), Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family (2015), The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World (2007), and A New World Order (2004), as well as over 100 scholarly articles. She was the convener and academic co-chair, with Professor John Ikenberry, of the Princeton Project on National Security, a multi-year research project aimed at developing a new, bipartisan national security strategy for the United States. In 2012 she published the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in the Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in the history of the magazine and helped spawn a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality.

Dr. Slaughter is a contributing editor to the Financial Times and writes a bi-monthly column for Project Syndicate. She provides frequent commentary for both mainstream and new media and curates foreign policy news for over 140,000 followers on Twitter. Foreign Policy magazine named her to their annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. She received a B.A. from Princeton, an M.Phil and D.Phil in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Daniel M. Sachs Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard. She is married to Professor Andrew Moravcsik; they live in Princeton with their two sons. Twitter Handle: @SlaughterAM

About New America:
New America is a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. With offices in Washington, New York, and San Francisco, New America generates big ideas, bridges the gap between technology and policy, and curates broad public conversation. Structurally, it combines the best of a policy research institute, technology laboratory, public forum, media platform, and a venture capital fund for ideas. New America is a distinctive community of thinkers, writers, researchers, technologists, and community activists who believe deeply in the possibility of American renewal.
www.newamerica.org