The Alpha Upsilon chapter of Delta Gamma and the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility are proud to welcome Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison to SMU as the 2016 Delta Gamma Lecturer in Values and Ethics. Kerman's best-selling memoir chronicles what the author calls her "crucible experience" — 13 months spent in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut.
A brief involvement with drug trafficking while she was in her early twenties sent Kerman to prison ten years later on money laundering charges. In her compelling, moving, and often hilarious book, she explores the experience of incarceration and the intersection of her life with the lives of the women she met while in prison: their friendships and families, mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior. The book also raises provocative questions about the state of criminal justice in America, and how incarceration affects the individual and communities throughout the nation.
Since her release, Kerman has worked tirelessly to promote the cause of prison and criminal justice reform and currently serves on the board of the Women's Prison Association.
Kerman is the recipient of Harvard's Humanist Heroine Award (2015), as well as the Constitutional Commentary Award from The Constitution Project (2014) and John Jay College's Justice Trailblazer Award (2014).
The lecture will be followed by a Q&A, book signing, and meet and greet.