MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The Department of English and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences will host the Helen Coast Hayes Peace Lecture on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rhododendron Room of the WVU Mountainlair. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.
Two speakers, Lori Pompa and Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho, will address higher education inside US prisons as well as the school-to-prison pipeline. The event will enable a needed conversation about educational and restorative justice in West Virginia.
Pompa has been on the faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University since 1992. She is Founder and Director of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. As a Soros Justice Senior Fellow, Lori Pompa developed Inside-Out into a national model of transformative pedagogy. She has taken more than 7,000 students into prisons and has worked with men and women inside prison since 1985. She also served as director of the College of Liberal Arts Office of Experiential Learning.
Sakho is Managing Partner at The Restorative Justice Group for Critical Community Engagement in Pittsburgh. She founded the organization in 2008 with a mission to improve the culture and conditions of schools. From 2013-14, she served as the Heinz Fellow for the Canevin Center for Social Justice at Duquesne University. She has worked as a victim outreach specialist in capital cases, serving as a liaison between the defense team and surviving family members of the victim.
The series was established in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in 1998 through an endowment dedicated to providing a lasting presence for peace studies on the campus of West Virginia University. The lecture series focuses on the liberal arts in order to explore the literature, history, sociology, psychology, and philosophy of peace.
“The Helen Coast Hayes lecture series is designed to promote peace studies at WVU and one of the great challenges to peace in the US right now is mass incarceration,” said organizer and associate professor Katy Ryan said. “Prison time devastates individuals, families, and communities. The forum will bring together two wonderful speakers who will discuss the role of education and educational leadership in dismantling the prison nation and creating a more just and peaceful culture.”
The lecture will provide a perfect follow-up to the Educational Justice and Appalachian Prison Symposium held at WVU last spring, Ryan said.