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Working at the Intersection of Art, Activism, and Anti-Carcerality: Sarah Shourd and Shubra Ohri in Conversation

Monday, March 27, 2023 | 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Hurst Lounge

The Washington University Prison Education Project is delighted to present the 2023 Maggie Garb Memorial Lecture, featuring playwright and journalist Sarah Shourd in conversation with Shubra Ohri, an attorney with the Missouri office of the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center.

Join us for a discussion of the state of anti-carceral efforts locally and nationally and the role of journalism, art, and public activism in resisting mass incarceration. 

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Arts & Culture, Humanities & Society



School of Continuing & Professional Studies
Event Contact

Savannah Sowell, sowell@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Sarah Shourd is an award-winning, trauma-informed investigative journalist, author, playwright, anti-prison theater activist, and 2018 Stanford John S. Knight Fellow based in Oakland and San Rafael, CA.

After being captured by Iranian border guards while hiking near a tourist site in Northern Iraqi Kurdistan and imprisoned as a political hostage, Shourd was held in solitary confinement for 410 days at Iran’s Evin Prison. After her release in 2010, she became an internationally known advocate against the overuse of solitary confinement in US prisons and a critic of the carceral system as a whole. As a UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar, she conducted a three-year investigation into isolation in US prisons and later wrote and produced The BOX, a play based on true stories of resistance to solitary confinement. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Shubra Ohri is an attorney with the Missouri office of the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center. Prior to joining MJC in 2021, Ohri was a senior attorney at Earthjustice where she fought climate change, supported environmental justice communities impacted by toxic coal plant pollution and advocated for a just transition to clean energy. Before that she was a staff attorney at the Chicago-based People’s Law Office representing survivors of police misconduct, government misconduct and wrongful convictions. She is passionate about supporting activists in their advocacy for systemic change and incorporating international human rights into her domestic legal practice.

Shubra began her legal career working against the death penalty and advocating for incarceration reform at Northwestern University School of Law and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. Prior to law school Ohri worked as a human rights advocate in the Middle East. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the American University Washington College of Law.

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