In partnership with Davidson College’s Bonner Scholars Program and as part of programming for the current exhibition “States of Incarceration,” Levine Museum hosted a panel discussion on mass incarceration that provided insights into an often invisible issue for most.
Anthony Willis is a published author, public speaker, radio show host, advocate, and a recently released individual with a passion to give hope and guidance to the next generation. After being arrested at the age of 16 years old, he spent 26 years of his life in the North Carolina prison system serving a life sentence. In March 2022, he was released by the order of Governor Cooper when he graciously commuted his prison sentence. With the second chance he has been afforded, he is fulfilling one of his passions by using his prison experience to advocate for those still incarcerated and help other young boys and girls to hopefully avoid the same pitfalls he fell into as a teenager.
Dr. Sioban O’Keefe is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Davidson College. Her primary research explores how mass incarceration affects communities. In her current project, she investigates how increased incarceration affects marriage, fertility and infant health.
Moderated by Dr. Tina Shull, Associate Professor and Director of Public History at UNC Charlotte. Tina Shull is a historian of race, migration, and carceral studies and is the director of Public History at UNC Charlotte. Her new book, Detention Empire, explores the criminalization of migration and rise of immigration detention during the Reagan administration. She is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow and also directs the public history project Climate Refugee Stories.