The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America

Jelani Cobb writes about the enormous complexity of race in America. In 2015, he received the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns, in which he combined “the strengths of an on-the-scene reporter, a public intellectual, a teacher, a vivid writer, a subtle moralist, and an accomplished professional historian.” He is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he has penned a remarkable series of articles about race, the police, and injustice. His articles include “The Anger in Ferguson,” “Murders in Charleston,” and “What We Talk About When We Talk About Reparations.” Cobb teaches in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is the recipient of the 2017 Walter Bernstein Award from the Writer’s Guild of America for his investigative series “Policing the Police,” which aired on PBS Frontline in 2016. He was also featured in the documentary “13th.”

Cobb’s keynote will be the centerpiece of our week-long Community Conversation on Race and Justice in America. The event is provided free to the public thanks to sponsors: The Beveridge Family Foundation, the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield, the Healing Racism Institute of the Pioneey Valley, and United Personnel.