To ignore the impact of incarceration on the family is to ignore how the drug war continues to dismantle black and Latino communities. The United States' prison population -- fueled by the war on drugs -- is increasing, with blacks and Latinos being the majority of those incarcerated.
Many students and alumnae wrote the administration with concerns that since 2002, all of the commencement speakers have been white. Many students and faculty also addressed their discomfort with having a person from the International Monetary Fund speak at commencement, knowing that the IMF’s policies benefit the rich, while hurting women and the environment.
In February, a group of 13 students met with administrators to discuss this choice and were told that “if Christine Lagarde was a person of color, you wouldn’t have a problem with her.”
When she was a child, 22-year-old Ifetayo Harvey's father was sentenced to prison for cocaine trafficking.
"My dad went to prison when I was 4 years old, and he was released when I was 12," Harvey says.
Harvey is one of millions of young people who grew up with a parent in prison. A recent study from the National Academy of Sciences examined the growth of incarceration in the United States, and among the topics was the effect on kids and families when a parent goes to prison.