April 06, 2016 11:56 ET

INFORUM Hosts Van Jones and Shake Senghor to Discuss Criminal Justice at The Castro Theatre

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 6, 2016) - INFORUM, an Innovation Lab at The Commonwealth Club, announced that it will host Van Jones, CNN political commentator and NYTimes best-selling author, Shaka Senghor, for a conversation on criminal justice reform on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at the Castro Theater. 

The onstage conversation between Jones and Senghor will focus on Senghor's experiences during 19 years in prison, his transformation and subsequent career, and the state of the criminal justice system in the United States today. #Cut50, a national bipartisan initiative that is working to safely and smartly reduce the American prison population by 50 percent over the next 10 years, is a personal and professional focus for both Jones and Senghor. Senghor's best-selling memoir is just one example of the current state of the U.S criminal justice system. His efforts as an activist, author, and motivational speaker focus on the prison reform movement in a time where more than two million individuals are behind bars with $80 billion spent annually on the incarceration industry.

Shaka Senghor is a published writer, mentor and motivational speaker whose story of redemption has inspired youth and young adults across the nation after he spent nineteen years in prison. In a 6′ x 8′ cell, he transformed his life and discovered his love for writing. His memoir, "Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death and Redemption in American Prison" is a New York Times best-selling book. He is the recipient of the 2012 Black Male Engagement Leadership Award, a 2013 MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow and a Fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Community Leadership Network. He currently teaches a course on the Atonement Project, which he founded, at The University of Michigan. He also published a collection of essays and poems titled, "Live in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope."

Van Jones is the president and co-founder of #cut50 and a CNN political commentator. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act and pushed for Congress to recognize the term "green jobs." In 2009, Jones worked as the green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama and lobbied for $500 million in national funding for green jobs training. Jones helped launch organizations including Rebuild the Dream, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green for All. Jones' many honors and awards include the World Economic Forum's "Young Global Leader" designation; Rolling Stone's 2012 "12 Leaders Who Get Things Done"; TIME's 2009 "100 Most Influential People in The World"; and the Root's 2014 "The Root 100." He is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, "The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream."

The conversation will take place at The Castro Theatre on Wednesday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m. PT. For more information and to register for tickets, call (415) 597-6719 or register online at 

ABOUT INFORUM: Founded in 2000, the INFORUM division of The Commonwealth Club produces Bay Area events where young professional attendees meet thought leaders in entertainment, tech, food, design, pop culture and politics. INFORUM produces individually curated events designed to provide their audience members with cutting-edge content and a hands-on educational experience. INFORUM was recently named San Francisco Magazine's 2015 "Best of SF - Speaker Series." For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • PR Contact:
    Marisa Levine
    INFORUM Director
    (415) 597-6719
    Email Contact