2019 ESR Willson Lectures

Finding a Solution to the Mass Incarceration Crisis

April 13, 2019

Featuring Keynote Speaker Anthony Bradley

*Lecture, panel presentation, and workshop are free and open to the public. There is a $20 fee for lunch. Registration is required.

*Registration is now closed 

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From their earliest days, Friends have struggled mightily with the criminal justice system. Even the label “Quakers” was first used as an insult hurled by a magistrate against George Fox when Fox was brought up for charges of blasphemy. Early Quakers developed a “Meeting for Sufferings” to assist fellow Friends serving jail sentences for their beliefs. In the 1800s, Elizabeth Fry came to be known as the “angel of prisons” for her work to improve conditions in Britain. In the U.S., Quakers were involved in the development of solitary confinement as a more humane alternative to the floggings and inmate labor commonly practiced. Now, groups such as the American Friends Service Committee work to end the abuse of solitary confinement and mass incarceration.

Friends are not alone in mounting concern over both the extent of - and disparity in - incarceration in the United States. Anthony Bradley’s new book, Ending Overcriminalization and Mass Incarceration: Hope from Civil Society, comes at a critical time as growing public awareness of these problems calls for practical solutions. Earlham College hosted New Jim Crow author Michelle Alexander as a Convocation speaker in 2015, and Bradley’s visit to ESR continues and builds upon that important conversation here at Earlham and in the broader community. Our hope with this year’s more interactive Willson Lecture event is to tie this conversation to those working regionally and locally to improve outcomes, and give practical tools and training that can make a difference. We are excited for you to join us!


Keynote Presentation: Finding a Solution to the Mass Incarceration Crisis

Mass incarceration is an overwhelming problem and reforms are often difficult, leading to confusion about what to do and where to start. Finding a Solution to the Mass Incarceration Crisis introduces the key issues that need immediate attention and provides concrete direction about effective solutions systemically and relationally. Dr. Anthony B. Bradley recognizes that offenders are persons with inherent dignity. Mass incarceration results from the systemic breakdown of criminal law procedure and broken communities. Using the principle of personalism, attention is drawn to those areas that directly contact the lives of offenders and determine their fate. Reform must be built from the person up, and once these areas are reformed our law enforcement culture will change for the better. Taking an innovative approach, Dr. Anthony B. Bradley explores what civic institutions need to do to prevent people from falling into the criminal justice system and recidivism for those released from prison.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Anthony Bradley professor of religious studies, chair of the program in Religious and Theological Studies, director of the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at The King’s College, and a research fellow at The Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Examiner, Al-Jazerra, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, Christianity Today, and World Magazine.

Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, mass incarceration and overcriminalization, youth and family, welfare, education, and ethics.

His books include: Liberating Black Theology (2010), Black and Tired (2011), The Political Economy of Liberation (2012), Keep Your Head Up (2012), Aliens In The Promised Land (2013), John Rawls and Christian Social Engagement (2014), Black Scholars In White Space (2015),Something Seems Strange (2016), Ending Overcriminalization and Mass Incarceration (2018).

Panel Presentation - Local Action in Indiana

Facilitated by Dr. Bradley and following his lecture, this panel brings together a group of individuals representing organizations working to address the issues of overcriminalization and mass incarceration. Panelists will share about their efforts, offer reflections on how their work can help to change our society at the community level, and engage the audience in conversation around both questions that emerge and how they might best become involved.


Archer Bunner - Alternatives to Violence Project

Archer Bunner is a proud Midwesterner, teaching in the Special Education Department at Richmond High School. Archer jumped through bureaucratic hoops to be able to provide new curriculum at Richmond High School through the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). This curriculum focuses on conflict transformation and provides the opportunity for students to become facilitators of the program with their peers. Archer is passionate about using the public education system to provide students with opportunities to build skills necessary to change themselves and, ultimately, the communities and systems around them. Archer volunteers as co-President of AVP-USA, a program dedicated to providing these workshops in prison, communities, and schools.

Andrew Falk - Constructing our Future

Andrew Falk is a Senior Fellow with the Sagamore Institute, with a research focus on criminal justice reform and international environmental and energy law. He is actively involved in analyzing the impact of Indiana’s criminal code revisions and reforms and drafting reports summarizing this research. He also researches and writes regularly on environmental and energy issues, such as the promise of solar energy in Africa and the benefits of secure property rights to protect the environment.

Following law school, Andrew served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Kenneth L. Ryskamp, Federal District Judge, Southern District of Florida, and to the Honorable Brent E. Dickson of the Supreme Court of Indiana. Before joining the Sagamore Institute, Andrew practiced business and environmental law with the Indianapolis firm Kroger, Gardis and Regas. While at the firm, Andrew was introduced to the world of environmental law while working on a large PCB contamination case, and he has remained passionate about environmental issues since that time. He left the firm to join the Indiana Office of the Attorney General and practiced in Criminal Appeals, arguing multiple cases before the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court. He also worked for the Office of Assistant Chief Counsel, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where he assisted with issues as diverse as collecting duties from importers of counterfeit goods to environmental cleanups at Border Patrol stations. Andrew was born and raised in the Midwest, living in Iowa and Kansas before moving to Indiana. He now lives in Indianapolis with his wife and four children. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and managing his fantasy football teams.

Kory George - Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative - Indiana

Kory W. George is the Chief Probation Officer and the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Coordinator for the Wayne County Probation Department. Kory received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Ball State University in 1995. Kory began his career as an Adult Probation Officer in 1995 and was later promoted to Adult Supervisor (2000), Assistant Chief Probation Officer (2006) and Chief Probation Officer (2014). Civic involvement includes service on the JDAI State Executive Team, Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana, the Juvenile Justice and Cross System Youth Task Force of the Children’s Commission and the Indiana University East School of Humanities and Social Sciences Board of Advisors. Lastly, Kory is co-owner of Cycling and Fitness Warehouse, a retail cycling and fitness shop, located in Richmond, Indiana.

Derris Ross - Community Justice Reform Coalition

Derris Ross, at age 27, is the founder of The Ross Foundation and a community organizer with IndyCAN. Derris is an Indianapolis native born and raised on the city's Far Eastside. Growing up as a kid, Derris was able to see how the community lacked youth programs, healthy options, and community involvement. Due to this, the rise in crime, drug usage, police harassment, and poverty has taken a toll on the community. Now being older and a respectful leader of the community, he has decided to start his own foundation in order to give back to and repair his childhood community. He wants to let the youth and city know that you do not have to settle for being a product of your environment, instead you can be a service to your environment. Together we can achieve more.


Alternatives to Violence Project Mini Workshop 

Since its inception, Alternatives to Violence Project workshops were designed with the understanding that all persons have inherent value. Founded in prison, developed from the real life experiences of prisoners, and continually evolving over the past 44 years, the AVP model has changed lives and culture, reducing violence and recidivism. AVP empowers people in communities and schools across the country and around the world to positively transform first themselves, and then the world we live in.

This AVP Mini-Workshop will introduce a few of the components that make AVP a powerful agent of change on the individual level. AVP does this experientially through personal growth and change, building self-esteem and trust, improving both listening skills and assertive methods of expression, developing cooperative attitudes that avoid competitive conflicts, and getting in touch with the inner Transforming Power to resolve conflict in healthy, nonviolent ways.



8:30 am Registration/Check-in
9:00 am Lecture - Anthony Bradley
10:30 am Panel Discussion
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 - 4:00 pm AVP Mini Workshop