Former inmate to discuss race, politics, justice


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A former inmate once under a death sentence and now an Ohio State University professor will give a free, public talk on “Race, Politics and Criminal Justice” Nov. 24 at the University of Louisville.

    Rudolph Alexander Jr., who teaches social work at OSU, will talk about his book “Racism, African Americans and Social Justice” and is expected to tie excerpts from it to current events in politics and criminal justice. He plans to discuss President-elect Barack Obama and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

    UofL’s Kent School of Social Work is sponsoring the 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. event in Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium. The program will begin with a talk by local social justice activist Christopher 2X, with the Ceremonial Healing Group of Louisville, about “The Value of Service.”

    Students in Kent’s “Human Behavior in the Social Environment” course have been reading Alexander’s biography, in which he describes how injustices in the criminal justice system affected him after his arrest at 17 in a gang member’s murder.His death sentence was reduced to life in prison after his appeal and some applicable Supreme Court rulings, and he served nearly eight years in prison. After his parole from a Georgia prison, he earned advanced degrees in social work and later joined the OSU faculty. He conducts research in adult and juvenile corrections, deviance and psychopathology and has written several books. His latest, “Beyond Micro: A Macro Understanding of Human Behavior and the Social Environment,” is set for publication next year.

    Earlier that day, Alexander is scheduled to speak at a UofL NETWORK luncheon on the topic “Racism, African Americans and Social Justice.” The event will begin at 11 a.m. at the University Club, and reservations for the $10 meal are required by Nov. 20. To reserve a spot for the luncheon, contact Linda L. Wilson at 502-852-0274 or or Marian Vasser at 502-852-2252 or Alexander also will sign his book, copies of which will be for sale.

    For more information on Alexander’s Kent School talk, contact Sharon Moore at 502-852-0751 or

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.