2018 John Brown Day Conference

Creating a Future Beyond Prisons:

 2nd Annual John Brown Day Conference, 10/13/18

WSJI is announcing the 2nd Annual John Brown Day Conference on Saturday October 13th from 8:30am – 3:30pm at the Woodstock Union High School in Woodstock, VT. 

The theme for the Conference is Creating a Future Beyond Prisons.  We will be exploring what each of us need to learn and understand and who do we need to be in order to take action to create a future beyond prisons?  This conference will focus on these questions, with an afternoon dedicated to local opportunities for taking action to support meaningful change.

Mariame Kaba, a leader in the transformational justice movement will start the day with a keynote.  If you are interested in what a just system looks like, this keynote is not to be missed.  Mariame will be introduced by Reverend Dr. Leon Dunkley, minister of the the North Chapel Universalist Society in Woodstock. 

James Duff Lyall, Executive Director from VT ACLU will lead lead a workshop on VT ACLU’s  Smart Justice Campaign and will include an education about why and how we need to hold State’s Attorneys accountable.  The goal of VT ACLU is to reduce Vermont’s prison population and to address the racial disparities, the worst in the nation, in the Vermont system.  Ashley Sawyer will join this workshop to share her personal story of incarceration by the state.

The Center for Justice Reform at Vermont Law  will guide participants in a review how sentencing works and explore alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system through a case study (link to pdf). Please read the case study prior to the conference, which is a hypothetical that involves a shooting, and may not be appropriate for young children or those who might find it too difficult to read.

Finally, Rapid Response Training and a new Bail Bond initiative will be presented by Migrant Justice.


Throughout the day, space will be made for a youth-led POC only caucus and for space for support to talk through our learnings from the day.    The afternoon will be focused on action steps that we can take together and as individuals. 

Registration begins at 8:15am day of conference.

9:00-9:30am:  Opening Remarks by Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley

9:30-10:30am: Keynote by Mariame Kaba

10:30-11:30am: American Civil Liberties Union-  Workshop and Dialogue

11:30am-12:30pm: Lunch

12:30-1:30pm: Center for Justice Reform at Vermont Law- Workshop and Dialogue

1:30-2:30:  Migrant Justice-Workshop and Presentation

2:30-3:30pm:  Action planning and commitments

Sliding-scale entrance, $15 suggested; no one turned away for lack of funds.
Light breakfast provided and Taco Food Truck on-site for lunch purchases. 
Please join us.