Social justice, history, and inequity in Cleveland: An overview

Amy Wainwright, Michelle Millet


When we first volunteered to be on the Local Arrangements Committee for the ACRL 2019 conference, and to write this specific piece for our colleagues who were coming to our city, neither of us had a clue that the entire third season of the true crime podcast Serial1 would focus on the criminal justice system of Cuyahoga County. But since it was so popular, we considered it a good framing device for a discussion about social justice in Cleveland.

If you haven’t listened to Serial, the short version is Cleveland and Cuyahoga County’s criminal and juvenile justice system are shining examples of the inequity that exists in the region. Poverty, segregation, violence, food deserts, crime, and an unfair justice system are all parts of the larger system that remains unjust and unequal in the heart of a Rust Belt city desperate to rise again.

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Copyright Amy Wainwright, Michelle Millet

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