Becoming Ms. Burton: Susan Burton in Conversation with Leonard Goodman
After Susan Burton’s 5-year-old son was killed by a van driving down their street, she became addicted first to cocaine, and then to crack. For 15 years after that, she cycled in and out of prison, and though she was never once offered therapy or treatment for her addiction, she did eventually find her way into a private drug rehab program. Then she founded a program called A New Way of Life that operates five safe houses in L.A., where more than 800 women have broken the cycle of incarceration. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, likens her to Harriet Tubman, for their common accomplishment of providing "a literal gateway to freedom for hundreds whose lives were changed forever" by their efforts. We’re thrilled to welcome Susan Burton to talk about her new book Becoming Mrs. Burton—part memoir, part political awakening, and part criminal justice reform manifesto—which Bryan Stevenson has called a “must-read." At tonight's event, Ms. Burton will be in conversation with Chicago criminal defense attorney Leonard Goodman. known for representing both high-profile and indigent defendants with equal vigor, winning cases at every level of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Goodman has won awards for his work on behalf of the wrongfully convicted, including an Afghani man detained twelve years at Guantanamo Bay without charges before his release in December 2014. He is an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law, where he teaches federal criminal law, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University College of Law. Goodman also founded the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting, which provides editorial and financial support to independent journalists pursuing in-depth investigative projects for In These Times magazine, where he also authors the Public Defender column.