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Patricia J Smith
Oct 3, 2016

Challenge Week events open to the public

Oct 3, 2016 by Patricia J Smith



Events focus on American criminal justice reform


The University of Central Arkansas Schedler Honors College will host Challenge Week 2016. The events will be held the week of October 3-7.


The theme for the week is “Unlocking Mass Incarceration: American Criminal Justice Reform.” All events are focused around the theme. All events are free and open to the public. Receptions will follow each event.


Activities for the week are as follows:


Monday, Oct. 3 - 5:00 p.m.

Doyne Health Sciences auditorium

Dr. Ed Powers, associate professor of sociology and criminology, Dr. Sherri Skaggs, assistant professor of criminology and Dr. Angela Webster, associate professor of leadership studies, will introduce participants to key issues that have lead to the mass incarceration crisis in the United States and will facilitate a discussion of these issues.


Wednesday, Oct. 5 - 7:00 p.m.

College of Business auditorium

Omavi Shukur

Shukur is the founder and director of Seeds of Liberation, an organization that works alongside Arkansas' marginalized communities to create a just, equitable and empowering criminal justice system by researching the criminal justice policies and practices that have caused the Arkansas incarceration crisis, as well as possible policy solutions to the crisis. Shukur is also an attorney handling a variety of criminal defense, civil rights and consumer rights cases at the Law Offices of John W. Walker, P.A.  He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Columbia University in the City of New York.


Thursday, Oct. 6 - 7:00 p.m.

College of Business auditorium

Kemba Smith

Smith was sentenced to over 24 years in a drug case and served 6.5 years in federal prison. She gained her freedom after President Bill Clinton granted her clemency. Her case drew support for trying to reverse the trend in the rise of lengthy sentences for first time, non-violent offenders. A graduate of Virginia Union University, she is a past recipient of a Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellowship for Advocates. She has testified before Congress and the United Nations regarding many criminal justice issues including mandatory drug sentencing and women and incarceration. She works to educate the public about the consequences of current U.S. drug policies.


Friday, Oct. 7 - 3:00 p.m.

Farris Presentation Room

Chad Bradford

Bradford will perform “Voices UnCaged.” Through storytelling, improv, work with Shakespearean text, acting and performance, participants with “Voices UnCaged” find an artistic voice. Prisoners examine their lives to create their art, and by doing so, their expression invites others to shift their point-of-view, hopefully leading to greater understanding on all sides. Similar programs have reduced recidivism and given participants new passions and means of expression. The results can be life changing.