just-mercyPULLMAN, Wash- The Washington State University Common Reading Program is hosting a film showing and panel discussion on Tues., Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Todd 116.  The short film “The Walls” follows WSU students as they visit Coyote Ridge Correction Center (CRCC), a medium security prison in Connell, Washington, to participate in a debate with inmates about gun control.  Following the film a panel of students who participated in the project will answer questions.

The Prison Debate Project began in 2012 with a grant from the Open Society Foundation.  CRCC wanted to provide additional opportunities to inmates who had already finished an associate of arts degree while incarcerated.  This lead to the formation of the debate club in CRCC.  Students from Walla Walla Community College and WSU visit CRCC and engage in a debate on a selected topic.

Last year, directors Gozalo Escuder and Nacho Gomez followed the students inside CRCC and made a documentary about the debate.   The short film was called, “The Walls”.  The topic for the debate, shown in the documentary, was gun control.  The documentary won the 2014 Special Jury Prize for Innovation by the Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA).

WSU’s Common Reading program hosts lectures, film showings, and other events that explore the topics approached in each year’s chosen common reading novel.  This year Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson is the chosen reading.  Stephenson will visit campus and give the annual Common Reading Invited Lecture on Dec. 1 in Beasley Coliseum. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Read more about the program, the book, and events at: http://CommonReading.wsu.edu.

Media contacts:

Karen Weathermon, WSU Common Reading Program co-director, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-5488, weathermon@wsu.edu

Emma Epperly, Communications and Marketing Junior Assistant, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-9458, UCHCCommMar.5@wsu.edu