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Department of Sociology

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7:00 PM, ROBESON 210


This interactive lecture on prisons in Appalachia will consider the realities of the prison industrial complex as connections are drawn between criminal justice and coal, highlighting the ongoing impacts of the Elk River coal chemical spill on incarcerated persons. That spill, which occurred last January, is responsible for poisoning the water of 300,000 people in and around Charleston, WV, and greatly impacted men incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail, who were denied access to clean water.
This, tragically, is part of a broader pattern of abuse in our nation’s prisons, the growth of which has recently been concentrated in Appalachia. The United States compromises about 5% of world population, yet the "land of the free" is home to about 25% of the planet's incarcerated persons. The Prison Industrial Complex plays a major role in this staggering statistic, but also in the way incarcerated individuals are treated.
Presented by “Stories from South Central,” a group that formed to amplify the voices of men incarcerated in South Central Regional Jail following the spill and Brian DeRouen, co-director of the Alderson Hospitality House, a non-profit bed and breakfast for families and friends of women incarcerated in Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia.

Hosted by Appalachian Studies, University Honors, the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, Students for Clean Energy, the Environmental Coalition and the Newman Community at Virginia Tech.

FREE and open to the public

Robeson 210 (located between Pamplin and the South Wing of Hahn)

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Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7:00-8:30 PM, FRALIN AUDITORIUM 

Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Ranjan Hettiarachchige, hosted by the CPSVP, will speak on the uses of media in promoting nonviolence and reconciliation. This is the 2015 academic year's first lecture in the CLAHS/CPSVP-sponsored series on Human Rights, Reconciliation, and Community Resiliency. All are welcome to attend this free lecture. There will be Q&A immediately following. 

    Ranjan Hettiarachchige, Fulbright Scholar and guest Lecturer