Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Grand Challenges of Our Time: Presidential Distinguished Forum featuring Reginald Dwayne Betts '09


Wednesday, November 18th, 4:00 p.m.
University of Maryland, Office of the President
All University of Maryland students, faculty and staff are invited to attend a unique series of virtual Presidential Distinguished Forums featuring renowned experts working at the forefront of today's most pressing issues. From the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change to voter access and the social unrest that has led to the Black Lives Matter movement, current national and world events present unprecedented challenges, but also opportunities to explore new and better paths forward.
President Pines will be joined by Reginald Dwayne Betts ’09, a critically acclaimed writer, public speaker and advocate for incarcerated people. Born and raised in Maryland, Betts' remarkable path took him from prison to poetry, spending nine years in prison for his role in a carjacking at age 16. During his incarceration he discovered a passion for poetry and literature, and after his release, he pursued a B.A., M.F.A, J.D., and now a Ph.D. in Law at Yale Law School. As a Liman Fellow, he spent a year representing clients in the New Haven Public Defender's Office. His most recent book, "Felon: Poems," received the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry.