Humanities Washington’s “Think & Drink” fall series at Greenwood’s Naked City Brewery will focus on various issues of race, including the racial disparities of mass incarceration, the relationship between police and minorities, and the experience of being black in Seattle.
Recent events—#BlackLivesMatter protestors shutting down a Bernie Sanders speech, allegations of police misconduct, and rapid gentrification—have melded with national events in Ferguson and Baltimore to shake up Seattle’s conversation about race. While the word “diversity” is often used with enthusiasm in this liberal city, harder questions are starting to be asked about Seattle’s attitude and policies toward people of color.
This is Humanities Washington’s fifth year of Think & Drink events, which include a moderated panel discussion with audience questions and comments. Events are free but participants buy their own drinks and food.
The next Think & Drink is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Naked City Brewery and Taphouse, 8564 Greenwood Ave. N. It is titled “America Behind Bars: Mass Incarceration and Civil Rights” and is moderated by Phyllis Fletcher, managing editor of Northwest News Network. Speakers include: Madeline Neighly, attorney on the Institutions Project at Columbia Legal Services; Merf Ehman, staff attorney with the Institutions Project at Columbia Legal Services; and Katherine Beckett, professor in the Department of Sociology and the Law, Societies, and Justice Program at the University of Washington.
At 2.2 million, the United States locks up more of its citizens than any other country in the world, and this number has increased rapidly—500% to be exact—over just the last three decades. The issue has become so urgent that it’s one of the few problems President Obama, members of Congress, and even the Koch brothers agree needs to be solved. “America Behind Bars” will address the history behind the mass incarceration epidemic, the drug war’s influence on incarceration rates, the racial disparity between the general population and those incarcerated, and the rise of the private prison system.