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Criminal justice reform advocate will speak at Pitt-Greensburg |

Criminal justice reform advocate will speak at Pitt-Greensburg

Patrick Varine
| Friday, January 18, 2019 7:15 p.m
Submitted photo
Above, criminal justice reform advocate Shaka Senghor will speak on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.

Criminal justice reform advocate and author Shaka Senghor will be the featured speaker Jan. 23 at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.

Senghor is a best-selling author and award recipient for his work in advocating for prison reform and addressing the negative effects of the prison-industrial complex. He is also president of the group #BeyondPrisons, an initiative designed to highlight the voices and experience of those impacted by the criminal justice system.

Senghor served a 19-year prison sentence in Michigan that included more than five years in solitary confinement after being convicted of second-degree murder.

Senghor’s memoir, “Writing My Wrongs,” was inspired by a letter he received from his then-1o-year-old son, asking why he was in prison and hoping they would be reunited someday.

The book was released in March 2016 and debuted on bestseller lists in both the New York Times and Washington Post.

“I spent my time reading and writing, using books to free my mind and expand my thinking,” Senghor writes on his website. “I clung to words — my own and others — as I pulled myself out of the anger that led me to prison and kept me from reaching my full potential.”

Senghor’s TED Talk, which he delivered at TED’s 30th Anniversary Conference, has been viewed more than 1.3 million times.

His appearance at Pitt-Greensburg, supported in part by a Title III SIP supplemental grant award, is part of a campus initiative to further prepare students to discuss controversial issues, especially in settings that include individuals with opposing points of view.

The initiative’s ultimate goal is to provide a place for students to learn and talk about new and different ideas, practice civil discourse and understand that disagreement can be constructive, campus officials said.

Senghor’s presentation will be at 7 p.m. in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center on the Pitt-Greensburg campus, 150 Finoli Drive in Greensburg. Copies of “Writing My Wrongs” will be available after the presentation.

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Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 412-871-8627, or via Twitter .

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