“What if your introduction to the world was a retelling of the worst mistakes you’ve made in your life?”
Emily Baxter, director and founder of We Are All Criminals, posed this question to the audience at her presentation, We Are All Criminals. With her lecture, given at the Campus Y on Tuesday, she aimed to close the empathy gap between those without a criminal record and those who have one.
The Criminal Justice Awareness and Action committee hosted Baxter, whose non-profit tells stories about people who have committed criminal acts, but were not caught. Baxter focuses on how each interviewee’s life would have been altered had they been caught.
“It’s an intentionally provocative title. This project is a commentary on the nation’s policies and prosecution,” Baxter said.
Of the stories told at the presentation, some were light hearted: public urination and petty theft in a drunken walk home. Others involved drug trafficking and assault. All stories came from offenders who never had to check the box found on many employment applications that asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?”