James FormanYale University
Kristin HenningGeorgetown University
A discussion of The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth with author and Professor Kris Henning in conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning author of Locking Up Our Own, Professor James Forman, Jr.
In January 2019, Pope Francis told the detainees at a Panamanian youth prison: “You are part of [God’s] family; you have a lot to share with others.” A fruitful society, he said, “is able to generate processes of inclusion and integration, of caring and trying to create opportunities and alternatives that can offer new possibilities to the young, to build a future through community, education and employment. Such a community is healthy.” Unfortunately, our communities fail to offer a healthy, inclusive, and caring environment for court-involved youth--particularly youth of color--as Professor Kris Henning dramatically reveals.
In a searing and clear indictment of the juvenile and criminal legal system, Kris Henning draws on her 25 years of representing young people accused of crimes to show the day-to-day brutalities endured by Black youth growing up under constant surveillance and persistent threat of physical and psychological abuse by police. Join Profs. Henning and Forman in a discussion of her critical and timely new book.
James Forman Jr. is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School. After attending Brown University and Yale Law School, he worked as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. After clerking, he took a job at the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where he represented juveniles and adults in felony and misdemeanor cases. Forman’s first book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.
Kristin Henning has been representing children accused of crime in Washington, DC for more than twenty-five years and is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant on the intersection of race, adolescence, and policing. Henning now serves as the Blume Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at Georgetown Law and was previously the Lead Attorney of the Juvenile Unit at the D.C. Public Defender Service. Henning is the co-founder of the Ambassadors for Racial Justice program for youth defenders and is the recipient of many awards, including the 2021 Leadership Prize from the Juvenile Law Center and the 2013 Robert E. Shepherd Jr. Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense by the National Juvenile Defender Center.