Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison


2015 Vivian R. Shaw Lecture with Piper Kerman

Date & time

Oct 13, 2015-Jun 23, 2024, 5:10 pm-7:48 am EDT


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Based on the 13 months she spent in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut on money laundering charges, Kerman’s memoir, Orange is the New Black, explores the experience of incarceration and the intersection of her life with the lives of the women she met while in prison: their friendships and families, mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior. The book also raises provocative questions about the state of criminal justice in America, and how incarceration affects the individual and communities throughout the nation. The memoir was adapted into a critically-acclaimed Netflix series of the same name by Jenji Kohan.

Since her release, Kerman has worked to promote the cause of prison and criminal justice reform. She serves on the board of the Women's Prison Association, which provides preventative services for at-risk women, works to create alternatives to incarceration, advocates against practices like shackling during childbirth and offers programs to aid reentry into society.

For more information, please visit the event website.

Cosponsored by the Department of Women's Studies, U-M Law School, Department of Sociology, Screen Arts & Cultures, the School of Social Work, and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Established in 1997, the Vivian R. Shaw Lecture is presented biennially by the Women’s Studies Department and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Guest speakers address “real world” issues affecting women and/or gender.