Sun, Oct 24|
The Right to Pleasure: A Panel Discussion on Prison and Sexuality
Who has the right to pleasure? To intimacy? To sexual expression? Come join us to explore these questions and more with our panelists.
Time & Location
Oct 24, 2021, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PDT
About the Event
Who has the right to pleasure? What happens when someone is denied access even to self-pleasure? Come join Sex Positive World and Joshua Edward Wright to dig into these questions and so much more in this panel discussion on sexuality and prisons. This event will be part intimate reflections, knowledge-sharing, and personal stories from our panelists, and part interactive conversation with all of you. We’ll discuss the realities of relationships and sexuality in prison and after release, the impact of denying people access to intimacy in almost any form, and talk about what activism and advocacy around this issue can look like.
We are bringing together five amazing panelists for this conversation: Joshua Wright, Joe Cheadle, Latrice Williams, Reiko Hillyer, and Kamran Afary, who between them will be able to share personal experiences of navigating their own sexuality while incarcerated, experiences interacting with inmates as volunteers from the outside, and insights from academia on this complicated topic.
We’re so excited to bring this important issue to our community and give you all a chance to learn more about it and join in on the conversation.
Event overview (times in PST):
11 am: Opening remarks and brief introductions
11:15 am: Panel discussion
12:15 pm: Audience Q&A
12:55 pm: Wrap up
1 pm: Event ends; stay after for informal mingling and further discussion
What does the money from my ticket go towards? We have a sliding scale for ticket prices, so please come at the price that fits your budget. If you can give extra, please do - your money will go straight to our panelists to support the work they are doing. If we bring in additional ticket revenue beyond the speaker fees, then this will be split between the panelists and SPW to cover some of our overhead and allow us to offer more events like this to the community.
Meet Our Panelists
Joshua Edward Wright: Joshua spent 50 months imprisoned. During that time, they co-founded Liberation Literacy; named and co-created ALL RISE Magazine, and started the first Gender and Sexuality class in the Oregon Department of Corrections. Joshua currently is the President of the Board of Phoenix Rising Transitions, board member of All Rise Magazine, board member of the Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good, advisor and consultant for Liberation Literacy, and creator and director of The Exiled Voice podcast. They live in Portland and are a strong advocate and educator on social justice and prison abolition.
Latrice Williams: Latrice is a mother, a former prisoner, and a managing broker in Spokane WA. She is changing the world, and the way they see us, one day at a time.
Joe Cheadle: Joe was incarcerated for 23 years. In his own words, "I was imprisoned for a crime I committed during my 17th birthday party. An attempt to steal alcohol escalated to murder through the chaos that's so often a part of crime, and through a teenager’s obsession with fitting in and being accepted. From high school to prison - what a profound transition." During his time in prison, Joe was focused on self and communal improvement and participated in just about every program offered, both therapeutic and educational. He was released in 2016 but faced a steep learning curve and challenging transition to the outside world, having been imprisoned while still a teen, before the public release of the internet and the following tech boom of the 90's and 00's. Now Joe is involved with activism to transform juvenile justice in Oregon and speaks in prisons to help others navigate the transition to the outside world. Joe also trains instructors in trauma-informed yoga, and is working on bringing yoga classes into prisons.
Reiko Hillyer, PhD: Dr. Hillyer is an Associate Professor of History at Lewis & Clark College with specialties in African American history, the built environment, public memory, and mass incarceration. She earned her B.A. from Yale University and her PhD from Columbia University. Her work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her current book manuscript, Windows in the Walls: The Permeability of the Prison in the Twentieth-Century United States, documents the rise and fall of practices--clemency, conjugal visits, and furlough--that used to connect prisoners more regularly with the free world. She is also a regular volunteer and instructor at Columbia River Correctional Institute in Portland, OR. In her Inside-Out Prison Exchange course, which integrates Lewis & Clark undergraduates with incarcerated students, Hillyer challenges the boundaries of stigma, race, and class in an effort to provide understanding of the history of the prison crisis, interrogate its seeming inevitability, and develop compassion for those whom it affects most directly.
Kamran Afary (PhD, RDT): Kamran is an assistant professor of communication studies at Cal State LA, and an adjunct instructor at the Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles. Since 2017 he has taught Health Communication, Performance, and Interpersonal Communication courses to incarcerated students at Lancaster Prison. He is the author of Performance and Activism: Grassroots Discourse After the Los Angeles Rebellion of 1992 (2009) and an editor of and contributor to Communication Research on Expressive Arts & Narrative as Forms of Healing (2020). Kamran's pronouns are he/they and resonates most with queer, nonbinary, single, and solo-poly identities.
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