Piper Kerman To Give 2016 Krieger Lecture At Vassar College
Piper Kerman was a 24 year old Smith College graduate in 1993 when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord. This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with the woman involved in a drug smuggling ring and got Kerman got involved too, though Kerman left that life after several months.
Five years later she was named as part of the drug ring and in February 2008 she reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. Kerman’s memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in Women’s Prison inspired the award winning Netflix television series of the same name. She will deliver the Alex Krieger Memorial Lecture at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday February 9th.
The experience of being incarcerated not only inspired her memoir but also her subsequent activism. Kerman serves on the board of the Women’s Prison Association, an organization that provides preventative services for at risk women, works to create alternatives to incarceration and also offers programs to assist with reentry to society.