GSU to Host Event that Focuses on Social Justice, Incarceration, and Art

Sedona Smith, Staff Writer 

The College of Arts and Sciences, led by art history professor Rebecca Siefert, will be hosting Carving Out Rights, a virtual event on Wednesday, March 24 from  6 – 7:30 p.m.  

The event is inspired by Carving Out Rights from Inside the Prison Industrial Complex, a book recently published by the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project. The event will “explore the intersections between art and social justice.” Aaron Hughes, Renaldo Hudson, and Atsia Fair will serve as panelists for the event. All three panelists boast impressive resumes.  

Aaron Hughes is an art-based activist. He is involved in the Prison + Neighborhood Arts and Education Project, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, About Face: Veterans Against the War, and emerging Veteran Art Movement. His own art has been exhibited across the globe, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hughes is the co-editor of the Carving Out Rights book. 

Renaldo Hudson serves as the Education Director for the Illinois Prison Project and is a 2021 Illinois Humanities Humanist Fellow. Hudson spent 37 years in prison and escaped death row after he was granted clemency by Gov. J.B. Pritzker this year. While incarcerated, Hudson taught himself how to paint, obtained multiple certifications, an associate’s degree, and a seminary bachelor’s degree. He is also responsible for the Building Block Program.  

Atsia Fair is an alumna of Governors State University. She is the mother of six boys, including Darrell Fair, whose artwork is included in Carving Out Rights. She will be discussing the impact of mass incarceration on families from the perspective of a mother of an incarcerated child.  

The topics touched on during this event will appeal to a broad audience. “This panel explores the intersections between art and social justice,” the College writes, “and will have broad appeal amongst those interested in criminal justice reform, political science, social work, and pedagogy, just to name a few. 

If you are planning on attending this event, please refer to the Zoom link and passcode below. Any questions about the event may be sent to [email protected] 

Passcode: 905854