Baruch College Presents The Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Lecture Series

“The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America”


Naomi Murakawa

NEW YORK, NY March 3, 2016 –  The School of Public Affairs at Baruch College presents the Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Lecture Series on Equality and Justice, “The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America” featuring Naomi Murakawa, Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.

A reception will be held at 5:00 p.m. prior to the lecture. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

The lecture will examine the explosive rise in the U.S. incarceration rate in the second half of the twentieth century, and the racial transformation of the prison population from mostly white at mid-century to sixty-five percent black and Latino in the present. In “The First Civil Right”, Murakawa inverts the conventional wisdom by arguing that the expansion of the carceral state was, in fact, rooted in the civil-rights liberalism of the 1940s through the mid-1960s, not in the period after. In short, the U.S. did not have a crime problem that was racialized; it had a race problem that was criminalized.


WHAT: “Ackerman Lecture Series: The First Civil Right ‘How Liberals Built Prison America’”


WHEN: Tuesday, April 5, 2016

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


WHERE:  Baruch College – Newman Vertical Campus

55 Lexington Avenue,

William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center, Room 14-220




About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 164 countries and speak more than 129 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to


Suzanne Bronski, (646) 660-6093,

Evelisse Luciano, (646) 660-6134,