By SOTG News Service
A viewing of Ava Duvernay’s acclaimed 2016 documentary “13th,” a networking reception and subsequent panel discussion featuring a mix of criminal justice professionals, academicians and community leaders has been scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 4 at the John Siegenthaler First Amendment Center on the Vanderbilt University campus (1207 8th Avenue South, Nashville).
The 1 p.m. event, titled “The 13th Amendment and the Criminal Justice System,” features Judge Rachel L. Bell, the Davidson County General Sessions Judge for Division VIII, as moderator for the panel discussion. The event was organized by community activist Carla Hudson, who will also sit on the panel.
Organizers for say they hope the event will effectively raise awareness and educate the masses on the controversial issues raised in Duvernay’s film. “It’s about positive change and we must begin or jump in somewhere,” Hudson explained.
Other panelists include:
• Glenn R. Funk, who became District Attorney General of the 20th Judicial District in 2014;
• Daniel Sharfstein, who is a professor of law and history and director of the George Barrett Social Justice Program at Vanderbilt (Sharfstein is the author of two books);
• Dr. Rubin Cockrell who is an international speaker, author, and professor;
• Daniel Horwitz who is a constitutional lawyer practicing in Nashville; and
• Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings, senior pastor of New Covenant Christian Church
Duvernay’s “13th,” which centers on race in the U.S. criminal justice system, is titled after the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery—unless as punishment for a crime. DuVernay’s documentary argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated through mass incarceration.
Passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted by the states on December 6, 1865, the full text of the 13th Amendment reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
View the trailer for Ava Duvernay’s “13th” below: