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Working at the Intersection of Art, Activism, and Anti-Carcerality: Sarah Shourd and Shubra Ohri in Conversation

Event Date:

March 27, 2023 | 4:00 PM CDT TO 6:00 PM CDT


Washington University in St. Louis
Hurst Lounge, Duncker Hall
1 Brookings Dr.

St. Louis, MO 63130

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NewsArts: a Pulitzer Center initiative that explores the intersections between journalism and art...



The Pulitzer Center and the Washington University Prison Education Project are delighted to present the 2023 Maggie Garb Memorial Lecture. This year's lecture, titled "Working at the Intersection of Art, Activism, and Anti-Carcerality," features playwright and journalist Sarah Shourd in conversation with Shubra Ohri, an attorney with the Missouri office of the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center (MJC).

Join us at 4:00pm CDT on Monday, March 27, in Hurst Lounge for a discussion of the state of anti-carceral efforts locally and nationally and the role of journalism, art, and public activism in resisting mass incarceration. Registration is required

Sarah Shourd is an award-winning, trauma-informed investigative journalist, author, playwright, anti-prison theater activist, and 2018 Stanford John S. Knight fellow based in Oakland and San Rafael, CA.

Shourd was captured by Iranian border guards while hiking near a tourist site in Northern Iraqi Kurdistan and imprisoned as a political hostage. She was then held in solitary confinement for 410 days at Iran’s Evin Prison. After her release in 2010, she became an internationally known advocate against the overuse of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and a critic of the carceral system as a whole. As a UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar, she conducted a three-year investigation into isolation in U.S. prisons. She later wrote and produced The BOX, a play based on true stories of resistance to solitary confinement. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to joining MJC in 2021, Shubra Ohri was a senior attorney at Earthjustice, where she fought climate change, supported communities impacted by coal plant pollution, and advocated for a just transition to clean energy. Before that, she was a staff attorney at the Chicago-based People’s Law Office, where she represented survivors of police misconduct, government misconduct, and wrongful convictions. She is passionate about supporting activists in their advocacy for systemic change and incorporating international human rights into her domestic legal practice.

Ohri began her legal career working against the death penalty and advocating for incarceration reform at Northwestern University School of Law and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. Prior to law school, she worked as a human rights advocate in the Middle East. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the American University Washington College of Law.

Each academic year, the Prison Education Project presents a lecture in honor of the late Dr. Maggie Garb, a co-founder and former director of the program. Each lecture focuses on one or more of Dr. Garb’s major areas of interest: history, education, and mass incarceration. Learn more about the Maggie Garb Memorial Lecture Series here.

This lecture series was founded with generous support of the Maggie Garb Foundation.

Washington University in St. Louis is a Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium partner.

Registration is required for this event. RSVP here.


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice