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Appalachian Prison Book Project to host Walk for Justice

WVU student organization advocates for more educational opportunities and materials in prisons through new event

West Virginia University’s Appalachian Prison Book Project is set to host a Walk for Justice on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. 

Walk for Justice participant

The two-mile walk will begin at 10 a.m. at WVU’s Core Arboretum, proceed to the rail trail and conclude at Stansbury Hall. The walk will also have an alternate starting point at the 6th Street entrance of the rail trail for a one-mile walk. 

APBP is a local nonprofit that sends free books to people incarcerated in six states and facilitates book clubs in a federal prison in West Virginia. Since 2004, the nonprofit has mailed more than 25,000 books to people imprisoned in the Appalachian region. 

Katy Ryan, an associate professor of English, the Eberly Family Professor of Outstanding Teaching and founder of APBP, said that WVU students have been essential to the nonprofit’s growth.

“Students have volunteered in our workspace in the Aull Center, helped with fundraising, organized book drives and participated in the prison book clubs,” Ryan said. “The idea for the Walk for Justice came from an undergraduate, Laura Curry, who has been working with another student, Kristin DeVault, to organize this new event. They’ve done a terrific job.”

Free parking will be available for the walk at the WVU Coliseum and Arboretum. Advanced registration includes an APBP t-shirt, with proceeds going to the nonprofit.

iServe hours are available through the WVU Center for Service and Learning

Check-in points will be located at the start of the walk for same-day registration and t-shirt pick-up. The walk will conclude with an APBP student organization meeting in the Mountainlair Student Union’s Mountaineer Room, with light refreshments and snacks provided by the Department of English. Participants may return to their vehicles by way of the PRT.

"APBP has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done,” said Rayna Momen, a doctoral student in sociology and president of APBP’s student organization. “It is hard to describe what it is like to read letters from incarcerated people who are simply seeking some literature and who are often just grateful to know someone is on the other end. If you volunteer, you will experience this for yourself." 

For more information or to register, visit aprisonbookproject.wordpress.com/walk-for-justice-sept-15/.