Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue
Baz Dreisinger is a professor, a journalist, a justice worker, a film and radio producer, a cultural critic and an activist. She is based between New York City and Cape Town, South Africa.
A professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, she is the founder and Academic Director of the Prison-to-College Pipeline programme, which offers college courses and reentry planning to incarcerated men, and broadly works to increase access to higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. A version of the P2CP program is soon to be launched at Stellenbosch University.
Baz's book "Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World" (2016) -- a first-person odyssey through prisons in nine countries, beginning in Africa and concluding in Europe--offers a poignant window into a world most never see, and offers a radical rethinking of one of America's most devastating exports and national experiments: the modern prison system. Named a Notable Book of 2016 by the Washington Post, it was also lauded by the New York Times, NPR, the LA Times and many more.
Dr. Dreisinger was named a 2017-2018 Global Fulbright Scholar for her work promoting education and restorative justice internationally, and is working to replicate the prison-to-college model in countries ranging from Jamaica, Trinidad and the UK to South Africa and Australia. She does this in her position as the Founding Director of the Incarceration Nations Network (INN), a global network and think tank that supports, instigates and popularizes innovative prison reform efforts around the world.
As a journalist and critic, Dr. Dreisinger writes about Caribbean culture, race-related issues, travel, music and pop culture for such outlets as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and ForbesLife, and produces on-air segments about music and global culture for National Public Radio (NPR). Together with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Peter Spirer, Professor Dreisinger produced and wrote the documentaries "Black & Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop," which investigates the New York Police Department's monitoring of the hip-hop industry, and "Rhyme & Punishment," about hip-hop and the prison industrial complex.
Prof Baz earned her Ph.D. in English from Columbia University, where she specialized in African-American studies and critical race theory and was named a Whiting Fellow. Her first book "Near Black: White-to-Black Passing in American Culture" (2008), a cultural history of whites who pass as black, was featured in the New York Times Book Review and on NPR and CNN.
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