Marlon Peterson will discuss a way forward to combat violence and promote justice during his talk titled “What Does Justice Look Like?” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, in the Sheldon Hall ballroom at SUNY Oswego.

Peterson’s presentation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the David F. Cutler ‘74 Public Justice Excellence Fund.

Peterson spent his entire twenties in New York state prisons for a crime he committed as a teen, but used his time in prison to earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice with honors. Since his release, he has focused on social justice in the areas of youth development, violence prevention, criminal justice, and race and gender justice. He is the founder and chief re-imaginator of The Precedential Group and was honored by Ebony Magazine as one of America's 100 most influential and inspiring leaders.

He also works with Families for Freedom and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. Peterson is the host of the Decarcerated Podcast and an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity. Additionally, he was a 2015 recipient of the Soros Justice Fellowship and a fall 2016 TED Resident; his TED Talk, "Am I not human? A call for criminal justice reform," has over 1.1 million views.

Peterson spent the last five years of his incarceration as the head of the Transitional Services Center where he created programming and learning content for men nearing release from incarceration. In addition to various initiatives, including support of mentoring programs to keep other youth out of trouble, he has since earned his bachelor’s in organizational behavior from New York University.

"To say we are lucky to have him coming to SUNY Oswego is an understatement," said Jaclyn Schildkraut of the college’s criminal justice faculty, who is coordinating Peterson’s appearance. "Given our current social and political climate, the topic of social justice is surely one that will resonate significantly within our community."

For questions about the event or accessibility accommodations, contact Schildkraut at 315-312-3403 or