Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Attica Prison uprising book to visit RIT

Heather Ann Thompson will give a public talk and meet with students, faculty

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Heather Ann Thompson will visit RIT Thursday to talk about her Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the 1971 Attica Prison uprising.

Heather Ann Thompson, whose book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in History, will talk about her book Thursday, Sept. 14, at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Her talk, at 4 p.m. in Ingle Auditorium, is free and open to the public. It focuses on the legacy of the Attica prison uprising in 1971 and why it matters today.

In 1971, 1,300 prisoners held guards and civilians hostage at the prison – 35 miles southwest of RIT – in protest of mistreatment. When the prison was forcibly overtaken, 39 men were killed.

Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, said the book “is a sobering reminder that we must all care about what is happening to human beings behind prison walls.”

RIT students are invited to a breakfast with Thompson from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday in the Stan McKenzie Commons. The first 50 to register will receive a free copy of her book.

An RIT faculty luncheon and development workshop with Thompson is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Campus Center Bamboo Room, where she is expected to discuss sharing her research with policymakers and the public. The first 50 to register will receive a free book.

Thompson is a professor of history and Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research on the history of policing, mass incarceration and the current criminal justice system has been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, The Atlantic, and Salon, among others.

Her visit is sponsored by dean’s office of RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, RIT’s provost’s office, and the departments of criminal justice, history, public policy and the School of Communications. A book signing will follow her talk at 5:30 p.m.

For more information about registering for the student or faculty sessions, contact Tamar Carroll at 585-475-6913.