Williams College Hosts Lecture by Adam Foss on Power, Privilege, and Opportunity

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 24, 2019—Adam Foss, founder of Prosecutor Impact, will give a talk titled “Swords and Shields: A Discussion of Power, Privilege, and Opportunity” at Williams College. Prosecutor Impact (PI) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving safety in the United States through a better understanding the prosecutor’s role in the criminal justice system. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Paresky Auditorium. Refreshments and a reception will follow in the Luetkemeyer Lounge.

Through PI, Foss’s goal has been to improve communities and reduce incarceration through education, training, and increased access to technology for prosecutors by partnering with District and City Attorney’s offices. Before starting his organization, Foss was an Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston. He fiercely advocates for criminal justice reform and stresses the importance of the prosecutor’s role in ending mass incarceration in the United States. He gave a TEDTalk in 2016, and he was recently featured in CNN’s critically-acclaimed feature-length documentary titled “American Jail.” The Mandela Foundation recognized him as the 2017 Nelson Mandela Changemaker of the Year, and the Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business of 2017. He was also awarded as the 2017 Roy Wilkins Next Generation Leader Award by the NAACP.

This talk at Williams College will explore the complex relationships between power, privilege, and opportunity through the lens of the criminal justice system by highlighting its inequities. Foss’s discussion will contextualize and identify how privilege impacts our lives and communities and facilitate self-reflection on our role in these dynamics.

Foss’s talk is part of his two-day visit to the Berkshires. In North Adams, he will speak with faculty and criminal justice students at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). Before his evening talk at Williams College, he will engage in smaller conversations with Williams students involved in restorative justice and criminal justice reform efforts at Williams College, including the Positive Pathways Partnership (P3) prison tutoring program, “Inside-Out” course, EOS @ Eagle St tutoring program with Pittsfield Public Schools, and the Converging Worlds’ Justice League program at Reid Middle School, which are supported by the Williams’ Center for Learning in Action. The following day, he will conduct training sessions in Pittsfield with the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office and will speak with law enforcement officials, court personnel, and the District Attorney’s Juvenile Justice Initiative advisory committee.

This talk is presented by Converging Worlds and is co-sponsored the Williams College Center for Learning in Action, the Davis Center, the Lecture Committee, College Council, the office of the Vice President for Campus Life, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the MCLA Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work. It is part of a yearlong series on race and democracy sponsored by the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Program in Democratic Studies.

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