Being Edinburgh: Vote for Barbara Becnel
From Sonia Mullineux on February 28th, 2020
Social justice activist and author Barbara Becnel has over 20 years of experience working for prison reform in the state of California, while writing 11 award-winning gang- and drug-prevention books.
From leading an international media campaign aimed at preventing the judicial execution of reformed black gang leader Stanley Williams, to organising an ‘Occupy San Quentin’ rally attended by hundreds in front of the state prison that houses California’s death chamber, she has often shown inspiring leadership and tenacity.
Building on her online MSc in Social Justice and Community Action, Barbara has returned to Edinburgh to pursue a PhD. Her thesis explores the culture of the condemned and how death row became a symbol of heroism for America’s street-gang generation. Integral to this is her collaboration with three former gangsters who are co-researchers on the project.
Barbara has recently been appointed to Scotland's Expert Steering Group for tackling racial harassment in higher education. She is also helping to organise a symposium called ‘Resisting the Language of Oppression’ for Black History Month in October.
Edinburgh education: MSc Social Justice and Community Action (With Distinction), 2018.
Current position: PhD candidate, Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh.