Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, has been chosen to  receive the Heinz Award in the public policy category. The awards were established by Teresa Heinz in 1993 to honor the memory of her late husband, U.S. Senator John Heinz from Pennsylvania, an heir to the Heinz Ketchup fortune. The Heinz Award comes with a $250,000 prize.

Alexander is being honored “for her work in drawing national attention to the issues of mass incarceration of African American youth and men in the United States, and for igniting a movement that is inspiring organizations and individuals to take constructive action on criminal justice reform.”

In addition to being an author, Alexander is also a visiting professor at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and held an appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. She has also taught at Stanford Law School.

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