Is Orange the New Black? Packed event hears from women & trans prisoners


Shanelle Matthews, Mianta McKnight, Theresa Martinez, Misty Rojo, Miss Major, Piper Kerman

On February 23rd, 2014, over 250 people packed Humanist Hall to hear from Piper Kerman, author of the book Orange is the New Black, and a fiery panel of formerly incarcerate women and trans prisoners.  Moderated by Shanelle Matthews, the panel addressed a wide range of issues that impact people in women’s prisons, including atrocious health care, family separation and unity, gender identity, sexual expression and resistance behind walls.  Voices of women and trans prisoners were brought into the conversation through recordings from inside the women’s prisons.  After the panel, formerly incarcerated people were honored and there was time for Q&A.  In a message to CCWP and Justice Now (the event organizers) following the event, Piper Kerman wrote:

Thank you all for a truly amazing afternoon. I know it was an enormous amount of work to put together such a powerful event, and it’s worth it. I am especially honored to have shared the panel with such impressive and audacious women.