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Social Justice and Prison Reform: A Conversation with Katy Ryan

Visions of Justice: Northern Uganda and Appalachia

Katy Ryan, Eberly Family Professor of Outstanding Teaching, and humanitarian activist Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe will engage in a crucial conversation about the incarceration of women in the United States and Uganda. Ryan is the founder of the Appalachian Book Project and teaches WVU’s Inside-Out prison literature course. Sister Rosemary provides education to young children incarcerated along with their mothers in Gulu Prison. She hopes to be begin a conversation about prison reform in Uganda. This program is co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Honors College.

This event is part of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences'  Visions of Justice series marking Sister Rosemary's visit to WVU in March 2020.

Read a Q&A with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe.

About the Speakers

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe

Sister Rosemary Nyriumbe

For the last 30 years, Sister Rosemary Nyriumbe of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus based in Juba, South Sudan, has answered the call to serve the least among us from the epicenter of a bloody and violent civil wars that decimated northern Uganda and South Sudan. Armed with only a sewing machine, Sister Rosemary openly defied Joseph Kony and the rebel soldiers and commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army in their 20-year reign of terror. Since 2002, Sister Rosemary has enrolled more than 2,000 girls who had been previously abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army or abandoned by their families. Anyone who steps foot on the grounds of the Saint Monica campus in Gulu, Uganda, will instantly recognize there are few other places on earth where a community of women learn to become self-reliant and change agents for peace and prosperity. Sister Rosemary has taught these brave girls to make their own clothes, grow their own food, learn a valuable trade, and show mercy to others that are less fortunate.

Katy Ryan

Katy Ryan

Katy Ryan is the founder of the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit that sends free books to people incarcerated in six states and facilitates book clubs inside women's and men's prisons. Her research focuses on the history and literature of imprisonment in the United States. She is the recipient of the Sigma Tau Delta Outstanding Teaching Award; the Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice; the WVU Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award; the Eberly College Outstanding Teaching Award; and the James and Arthur Gabriel Brothers Faculty Award for teaching and service.