Email insights: Dream Defenders host Miami event with Angela Davis


The Florida-based social justice group the Dream Defenders is ringing in the holidays with a Miami event at Barry University featuring noted activist, author and professor Angela Davis. 

In an email to supporters and media outlets, the group is touting the event, calling it “America’s Most (Un) Wanted Fight Back: Ending Criminalization and the Prison Industrial Complex.”

“Together we will envision a world free of the prison industrial complex and be inspired in our work building broad, strong movements for social change,” says the missive, noting online sales have ended, but tickets will be sold at the door, and the event will be live-streamed with the hashtag #AngelaDavisMIA.

Davis is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She first came to national attention after being removed from her teaching position at UCLA because of her activism and (former) membership in the Communist Party. In 1970 she was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. During her 16-month incarceration, a massive international “Free Angela Davis” campaign was organized, leading to her acquittal in 1972.

In October, the Dream Defenders announced Davis had joined its Advisory Board, along with Michelle Alexander, associate professor at the Ohio State and author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” among other notables.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected].


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