Join us for a Virtual Town Hall featuring Sister Helen Prejean, the author of Dead Man Walking, and Teresa A. Miller, Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer for The State University of New York (SUNY) and criminal procedure specialist.

The Virtual Town Hall will be available on our website and on YouTube Live on Thursday, August 13 at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

A Roman Catholic nun, Prejean’s time as a spiritual advisor for incarcerated people on death row inspired her book Dead Man Walking. The work details her correspondence with Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to death by electric chair in Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. Prejean has since dedicated her ministry to eliminating capital punishment, meeting personally with Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis to ensure the Catholic Church’s opposition to the practice.

Published in 1993, Dead Man Walking inspired an opera, a stage play, a film, and a musical album. Prejean’s additional publications include The Death of Innocents, and the recently-published River of Fire, which narrates her own spiritual journey.

Teresa A. Miller served more than 20 years at the University of Buffalo, where she earned tenure and the rank of a full professor of law. A major part of Miller’s scholarship included documenting the experience of incarcerated people through filmmaking and bringing her students into maximum security prisons, including the Attica Correctional Facility. In 2010, Miller was a member of the American Bar Association Task Force that re-wrote the Standards on the Legal Status of Prisoners.  

In 2015, Festival Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello began bringing Glimmerglass artists to perform at the Attica Correctional Facility, with Miller serving as an advisor. The program has since expanded to include music education and performance participation opportunities for the incarcerated people at Attica, and furthers Glimmerglass’ mission to make art accessible for all audiences.  

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