Facing Life: Featuring The Visiting Room Project Exhibit at the Lillian Goldman Law Library on L3

Facing Life: Featuring The Visiting Room Project Exhibit

The Law and Racial Justice Center at Yale Law School in cooperation with the Freedom Reads, Liman Center, and the Afro-American Cultural Center, is hosting a Symposium titled Facing Life: Featuring the Visiting Room Project to be held on March 30-31, 2023 at Yale Law School. This two-day symposium is designed to bring to life the digital experience of The Visiting Rom Project through a series of events that invite members of the Yale and New Haven community into conversation with men profiled by the project.

The Visiting Room Project is a digital experience that connects members of public with people serving life without the possibility of parole. Visitors are invited to sit face-to-face with the ambassadors and experience their life in prison in their own words. During the week of the Symposium, members of the community will find interactive kiosks displaying some of The Visiting Room Project videos in two places on Yale’s campus: outside the Afro-American Cultural Center at 211 Park Street and in the Yale Law School courtyard. The videos are also available online at The Visiting Room Project website.

To accompany the Symposium, the Lillian Goldman Law Library is proud to present a new exhibit Facing Life: Featuring The Visiting Room Project, located on L3 of the Law Library, prepared by Lucie Olejnikova, Julian Aiken, Evelyn Ma, Ariane Lewis, and Kayla Vinson. The exhibit provides an opportunity to enter The Visiting Room, while the book display features memoirs, collections of poetry, art, and magazine articles written by currently and formerly incarcerated persons, or their relatives. The display also includes scholarly publications that focus on the impact mass incarceration has had on families and our society at large. The Selected Bibliography lists the featured works in these two categories, and outlines further suggestions to discover additional titles on the topics. 

Visitors can view work by several of the ambassadors and symposium panelists, including Dwayne Betts, Ra’sun Allah (Ray Boyd), Daniel Boone Mills, Kimathi Khama (Audley Watson), Tyrone Harvey, L.O.R.D. (Gaylor Salters), and Maurice L. Williams, among many others. The exhibit features The Angolite, a prison news magazine, which began in 1953 as a weekly eight-to twelve-page tabloid newspaper, and is called “America’s boldest experiment in journalism and freedom of expression in the world behind bars”. A print-out of the inaugural 1953 issue is included as part of the exhibit, and for those interested in subscribing to the publication, you may fill out The Angolite Subscription Form.

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