Dr. Luis Barrios Speaking on February 21 on “Youth and the Criminal Justice System” at the Urban Underground

Fr. Luis Barrios, Ph.d., an activist scholar, professor of Criminology, and the new Co-Director of Pastors for Peace, will speak on “Youth and the Criminal Justice System: Street Politics, Gangs, Racism, & Transformation” on Tuesday, February 21, at 6:30 pm, at the Urban Underground, 4850 W. Fond Du Lac Ave, Milwaukee.

Dr. Luis Barrios is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC and a visiting professor of criminology at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.  He is the author of two books on the sociology of gangs, including The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics & the Transformation of a New York City Gang.

An Episcopal priest in West Harlem, New York, Fr. Barrios is also a leading exponent of liberation theology and is a former prisoner of conscience for challenging the U.S. Army’s “School of the Americas.”  He has done extensive study and work regarding immigration policy and practice, including the effects on families of U.S. deportations to the Dominican Republic and on the exploitation of Haitians on the Haitian/Dominican border.

He is a native of Puerto Rico, who was recently named as co-director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, with Gail Walker, a former Milwaukeean who is the daughter of the founder of Pastors for Peace, the late Rev. Lucius Walker.  Pastors for Peace administers free admission to Cuba’s acclaimed medical schools for U.S. students who promise to return and work as doctors in under-served communities in the U.S.

Fr. Barrios will also speak on “Challenging U.S. Policies toward the Peoples of Latin America” on the following day, Wednesday, February 22, at 7:30 pm, in the UWM Union’s Fireside Lounge.

His talks are free and open to the public. The sponsors include the Urban Underground, the Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations With Cuba, Peace Action-WI, and the Latin America Solidarity Committee.

Urban Underground is advancing a new generation of young leaders committed to building safe and sustainable communities through effective and age appropriate programs, strategic partnerships, and youth-led civic engagement campaigns in the areas of health, education, public safety, and community justice. Its programs establish key pipelines for youth leadership, help groups broaden their definitions of diversity and inclusion, and create educational models relevant to today’s youth.

Contact: Sharlen Moore, Executive Director, Urban Underground (, 414-444-8726)

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