The Brain Café is a public forum that brings together artists, scholars, experts, and community members to share their knowledge and experiences in an open dialogue with the audience.
This Brain Café will ask questions about the roles that race and class play in shaping one’s interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system in America. The evening will begin with a performance by spoken word poet Christopher Johnson, hip hop dancer Sokeo Ros, and musician Rachel Rosenhrantz. Christopher has direct experience with the prison system and his poetry will touch upon some of those experiences.
David Ellison, a public defender in Fall River, will share his experiences working within the justice system. He provides legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court of Massachusetts. He has a unique perspective on the justice system and its shortfalls from his position on the front lines, working to provide low-income defendants the best legal aid he possibly can.
The evening will also include a presentation from Steven Dy a youth organizer from Prysm (Providence Youth Student Movement). Prysm is a community organization that challenges and supports Southeast Asian youth to become leaders, organizers, and critical thinkers by offering educational workshops, leadership opportunities, mentorship, and oversight of youth-led community organizing projects. Steven Dy worked extensively on a campaign to end racial profiling in Providence.
The Brain Café will conclude with an open conversation with the audience about the issues that were brought up during the presentations.