‘Correction Conversation’ Thursday

WESTPORT – On Thursday, novelist Russell Banks will moderate a conversation between two New Yorkers, one convicted more than 30 years ago under the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the other his recreation leader working for the state Department of Corrections at a minimum-security facility in the Adirondacks.

The two men reunite to talk with one another and the audience about the impacts of the drug war on their lives, their families, and their communities.

The event is sponsored by John Brown Lives!, a freedom education and human rights project based in the Adirondacks that uses regional history to unite communities in conversation, celebration and commemoration to examine the past and address the critical issues of our time.

This conversation launches JBL!’s latest initiative, The Correction – a series of community conversations, film screenings and other events designed to spark dialogue about the ‘War on Drugs’ and the prison-building boom and policy of mass incarceration that transformed the North Country landscape and the lives of millions of New Yorkers.

It will take place at Northwoods Inn, Main Street, Lake Placid. Doors will open for a social gathering at 7 p.m. with refreshments (cash bar for alcoholic beverages) and the conversation will begin at 7:30.

The event is free and open to the public though donations are welcome.

Other events in the series include:

  • Visiting author Martin Lee who will give an overview of the social history of marijuana, from its origins to its defining role in the culture wars and the nation’s ‘war on drugs’. Lee will speak at SUNY Plattsburgh at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, and again at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27 at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake.

Independent scholar Amy Godine will talk about the political origins of placing penitentiaries and prisons in the North Country. She will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Northwoods Inn in Lake Placid.

John Brown Lives! was awarded a $10,000 Project Director’s Grant from the New York Council for the Humanities for The Correction.

For more information, contact Martha Swan, executive director of John Brown Lives!, at 518-744-7112 or visit John Brown Lives! on Facebook.