Research in Practice: A Case for Addressing Mass Incarceration through the Arts

Mackenzie Berry

This flash talk will outline a project Berry initiated with Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality, and Solidarity (MOSES) in which she organized artists to work with a group of formerly and currently incarcerated men in pursuit of improved mental health. The group directed a multimedia arts show which reflected how they wanted to portray their narratives surrounding incarceration. The project was initiated in response to the 2016 Race to Equity Report which demonstrated that Madison has the highest rate of incarceration of Black men in the nation. The project was structured to center the group and their voiced needs and desires, as they are the experts of their lived experiences, an approach which exists in conflict with academia and top-down methods.