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The Roots of Urban Rage: From Ferguson to Mass Incarceration

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April 11, 2016

Friday, April 15 UMD’s Center for Ethics and Public Policy is sponsoring a public lecture.


News Release — For info contact Lori Melton,, 218-726-8830.

On Friday, April 15 from 6–8 p.m., UMD’s Center for Ethics and Public Policy is sponsoring a public lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Smith (The New School) on the origins and rise of urban rage. The event will take place at UMD’s Solon Campus Center Room 120.

This event is free and open to the public.


Jeff Smith is assistant professor of Politics and Advocacy at Milano. Jeff, who has also taught at Washington University and Dartmouth College, teaches and researches political campaigns, urban political economy, policy advocacy, and the legislative process.

He served in the Missouri Senate from 2006–09, representing St. Louis City, where he co-founded a group of charter schools called the Confluence Academies. He has written two books as well an an e-book: Trading Places, his Ph.D. thesis on U.S. partisan realignment from 1975-2004, Mr. Smith Goes to Prison (St. Martin's, 2015), a narrative nonfiction account of his time in prison, and Ferguson in Black and White, an historical analysis of the roots of Ferguson, Missouri's unrest. His original research and book reviews have been published in various political science journals, including Political Research Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, andThe Forum.

Jeff frequently appears on MSNBC and has been profiled by NPR’s This American Life, Harper’s, The New Republic, and other periodicals. He addresses audiences of public officials on ethics in politics, and his TED talk on prison entrepreneurship has been viewed over a million times. His op-eds have been published by The New York Times, The New Republic,, The Atlantic, Inc., National Journal, Salon,Politico Magazine, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and the Chicago Tribune. The film "Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?," which was short-listed for an Academy Award, chronicled his youth-powered grass-roots congressional campaign. He currently serves on the national advisory boards of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and American Prison Data Systems.

Funding for this lecture was provided by the Institute for Humane Studies through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  

For more information about this Event and The Center for Ethics and Public Policy, see