One woman’s remarkable odyssey from tragedy to prison to recovery—and recognition as a leading figure in the national justice reform movement.

This event is sponsored by the Sentencing Project. The advocacy director, Nicole Porter, will be in conversation with the author.

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Susan Burton: BECOMING MISS BURTON
5th & K | Cullen Room | June 14, 2017 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Busboys and Poets 5th & K welcomes Susan Burton for her new book "Becoming Ms. Burton."

One woman’s remarkable odyssey from tragedy to prison to recovery—and recognition as a leading figure in the national justice reform movement.

“Susan’s life story is one our nation desperately needs to hear and understand. This is a story about personal transformation and collective power. It is about one woman’s journey to freedom, but it will help free us all.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

Susan Burton’s world changed in an instant when her five-year-old son was killed by a van driving down their street. Consumed by grief and without access to professional help, Susan self-medicated, becoming addicted first to cocaine, then crack. As a resident of South Los Angeles, a black community under siege in the War on Drugs, it was but a matter of time before Susan was arrested. She cycled in and out of prison for over fifteen years; never was she offered therapy or treatment for addiction. On her own, she eventually found a private drug rehabilitation facility.

Once clean, Susan dedicated her life to supporting women facing similar struggles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, operates five safe homes in Los Angeles that supply a lifeline to hundreds of formerly incarcerated women and their children—setting them on the track to education and employment rather than returns to prison. Becoming Ms. Burton not only humanizes the deleterious impact of mass incarceration, it also points the way to the kind of structural and policy changes that will offer formerly incarcerated people the possibility of a life of meaning and dignity.

This event is sponsored by the Sentencing Project. The advocacy director, Nicole Porter, will be in conversation with the author.


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