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'Life After 'Mr. Smith Goes to Prison': Launching Concordance Academy of Leadership'

Tuesday, 01 November, 2016

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology welcomes guest speaker Jeff Smith, Ph.D., EVP, head of community engagement and policy, Concordance Academy of Leadership, at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Morrissey Hall Room 3400.

Jeff Smith, Ph.D., has taught at The New School, Washington University, and Dartmouth College.  His interests are political campaigns, urban political economy, policy advocacy, incarceration, and the legislative process.  Most recently, Smith has taken the position of EVP, head of community engagement and policy at Concordance Academy of Leadership in St. Louis. Concordance Academy is run by former Wells Fargo CEO Danny Ludeman.  It is an institution to help inmates transition successfully to life on the outside.

Smith 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. A documentary entitled “Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?” chronicled his 2004 campaign.  

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, which analyzed the historical roots of Ferguson, Missouri's unrest.