VCU Common Book 2016-2017

Thursday, January 26: Informal Q & A with VCU Police Chief John Venuti

4 - 6 p.m., Hibbs 303

Informal Q & A with VCU Police Cheif John Venuti about police brutality, policing with purpose, the role of police departments in the criminal justice system, and the future of policing.


Thursday, February 9: Screening of The Prison in Twelve Landscapes with filmmaker, Brett Story

Time TBA, Academic Learning Commons, Room 1107

This film is about incarceration, yet we never see a penitentiary. Instead, the film explores a series of landscapes across the United States where prisons do work and affect lives. From a California mountainside where female prisoners fight raging wildfires, to a Bronx warehouse full of goods destined for the state correctional system, this film reveals a larger social and economic system impacted by large-scale incarceration.


In Collaboration with the Richmond Peace Education Center:

Sunday, February 19: Generation Dream 2017

3:30 - 6 p.m., Grace Street Theater

“Generation Dream 2017” will showcase a variety of performances by young people, inspired by the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Students are encouraged to create performances relating to the criminal justice system and youth incarceration.


In Partnership with VCU School of Medicine's I2CRP:

March (date TBD): Screening of "Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies" and panel discussion

Time TBD, Location TBA

In partnership with the School of Medicine’s I2CRP (International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship), the Common Book Program will present a screening of Dr. Shawn Utsey’s documentary “Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies,” followed by a panel discussion about the Medical College of Virginia’s past treatment of African-Americans at the hospital and in the community.


Thursday, April 4: "What does it mean to radically reimagine a city's public memory?"

12 - 2 p.m., Location TBD

Students from colleges and universities across the Richmond area, alongside community members, will participate in roundtable discussions tied to the central question, “What does it mean to radically reimagine a city’s public memory?”


Wednesday, April 12: Pop-Up exhibit of ART 180's "Performing Statistics"

Time: ALL DAY, Location: TBA

Overlapping Bryan Stevenson's visit, the Common Book Program will bring a pop-up exhibit of ART 180's "Performing Statistics," which connects incarcerated teens with artists, designers, educators, and policy advocates, with the goal of transforming the juvenile justice system.


Other Upcoming Common Book Programming:

February-April: A pop-up recording booth will be available in VCU’s library and other points on campus, for students, faculty, staff and community members to tell stories, recall related experiences, and share their reactions to Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy.

February-April: VCU students will work with students from Open High School, a Richmond Public School, in a peer mentoring capacity. Together, the students will work to better understand the issues presented in Just Mercy and to develop awareness of how these issues affect society and their day-to-day lives and futures. Students will direct their own explorations of possible actions they can take to promote and address these issues.

Just Mercy in the Richmond City Justice Center: The Richmond City Justice Center, in partnership with Open Minds and ASPiRE, will host reading groups comprised of VCU enrolled students and Justice Center residents. Participation is currently open only to Open Minds and ASPiRE enrolled students and residents of the Justice Center.