The Salisbury University Philosophy Department’s Eastern Correctional Institution book discussion program recently received the Friends of Wicomico Public Libraries’ Light of Literacy Award, held its 36th annual Philosophy Symposium and was acknowledged for its contribution to the civic and intellectual improvement of its students and its community by members of the Eastern Shore Delegation.
Sen. Jim Mathias and Del. Carl Anderton were on hand to congratulate the program sponsors and coordinators. On hand to accept the citations on behalf of the university was Dr. Joerg Tuske, chair of Salisbury University’s Philosophy Department; and Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of SU’s Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts.
TheLight of Literacy Award was one of eight presented during a ceremony at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center earlier in the month. The State proclamations all were presented at the beginning of the symposium.
The ECI Initiative
Through the initiative, SU students meet with ECI inmates to discuss thinkers such as Socrates and Sartre, and themes such as love, freedom and justice. The process often is just as educational for the students as it is for the inmates, according to Dr. Timothy Stock of the Philosophy Department, who leads the program with ECI librarian June Brittingham.
According to the nomination, inmates have said their sessions with the SU students are the only times they can have intelligent, positive conversations, and the experience has strengthened their love of reading. The program previously has earned accolades from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, as well as The Baltimore Sun.
Founded in 2013, the Light of Literacy Awards recognize local organizations and individuals who demonstrate support for literacy and education.
The 36th Annual Philosophy Symposium
Mass incarceration and sentencing reform in the U.S. have come to the forefront of political debate in recent years. At this year’s event, Drs. Lisa Guenther of Vanderbilt University and Rashad Shabazz of Arizona State University shared their perspective and recent academic writings on the subject.
This year’s event was titled “Justice Inside-Out: On Incarceration and Inequality” and included the consideration of questions including “What is the purpose of punishment?” “Does imprisonment serve justice and, if so, in what sense?” and “What does it mean for a punishment to fit the crime?” The symposium also examined into how the understanding and punishment can be shaped — and obscured — by assumptions about race, history and economic inequality.