Lydia Rapoport Convocation Presentation
The Smith College School for Social Work is pleased to present its annual Lydia Rapoport Lecture as part of the Public Lecture Series. Lectures are free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. (See additional accessibility information below).
Our Journey to Fearless Activism
Speaker: Evie Litwok, B.A., M.A.
Founder and Executive Director of Witness to Mass Incarceration
Evie Litwok, the Founder and Executive Director of Witness to Mass Incarceration, will speak about her personal journey through two federal women’s prisons and solitary confinement, and how the experience ignited her social activism around the issue of mass incarceration and mass supervision.
With a recognition that her audience is primed to make impact in the world, Litwok will challenge and stimulate graduating students to think critically and imaginatively about current practices and the serious social, economic, physical and emotional consequences of mass incarceration — including effects on individuals, families and communities — and on the greater level, how to become activists for positive change in the world.
Sunday, June 2, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Evie Litwok is the founder and executive director of Witness to Mass Incarceration (WMI). A non-profit organization devoted to raising public awareness of conditions within the nation’s prisons and ending mass incarceration. WMI uses documentation, leadership development, grassroots organizing and advocacy to make impact.
Litwok left prison homeless, jobless, and penniless in 2014. Despite the lack of resources, she began speaking out about her experiences there and formed WMI in 2015.
Besides catalyzing a national conversation about mass incarceration, WMI works to eliminate sexual violence in prisons and guarantee emergency evacuation of incarcerated people during times of disaster. She also created the Suitcase Project, which gives newly released people essential items such as a mobile phone, laptop computer and gift cards to ease reentry.
Her work has led to a growing network. Litwok is a part of the National LGBT HIV Criminal Justice Working Group, which meets regularly with the Bureau of Prisons to discuss increasing safety and dignity for LGBTQIA prisoners. WMI is also part of the Raising the Bar Coalition and attends regular meetings with the Justice Department’s Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Management Office.
It is her hope that educating the public and developing initiatives will result in policy reform, a radical change in conditions of confinement, and meaningful reentry.
Litwok formerly worked in the financial industry and holds an MA in psychology from Temple University.
Continuing Education Credits (CEs)
Lectures also provide one and one-half (1.5) Continuing Education Credits (CEs). The cost to register for CEs will be $15 per lecture. Those who wish to earn CEs should arrive 15 minutes ahead of the lecture to register. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the lecture. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the presentation. Participants must sign in and out of the session and complete an evaluation. Therefore, a late arrival or an early departure of greater than ten minutes constitutes not attending the lecture in its entirety. Payment will be collected at registration. Payment must be made by check or money order ONLY.
Weinstein Auditorium is wheelchair accessible. For other disability accommodations or sign language interpreters, please contact the Office of the Dean at 413-585-7950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, at least two weeks in advance of the lecture.