The conference focused on how legal scholarship can help improve the lives of the poor and how important it is for law professors to educate the next generation of poverty activists.
Prof. Allen-Bell’s presentation was titled “The To-Do List of a Southern Academic Activist: Pen to Paper, Voice to Mike, Minds Emancipated, and Change Unleashed.” Her talk explored the process of translating one’s professional academic career into one that marries teaching and scholarship with meaningful social justice advocacy.
Prof. Allen-Bell is known for her widely recognized work as an advocate for the rights of inmates and particularly the Angola 3, three former inmates Robert King, Albert Woodfox, and Herman Wallace, who were put in solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola in 1972 after the killing of a corrections officer. Woodfox, the last remaining of the three, was released from prison February 19, 2016, after 43 years and 10 months in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit.
Civil rights and social justice are at the heart of Prof. Allen-Bell’s research agenda. She has published numerous law review articles on these topics, which have appeared in the University of Miami Race and Social Justice Law Review, the Journal of Law and Social Deviance, and the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. She is also frequently quoted and interviewed by media outlets on social justice issues, and has submitted testimony before the United States Senate’s Judiciary Committee on the issue of solitary confinement.