Chatham News

Orange is the New Black Author, Piper Kerman, To Speak at Chatham University

PITTSBURGH, PA – Bestselling author, memoirist, and prison reform activist, Piper Kerman, will speak at Chatham University on March 20, 2014 in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Recently adapted into the hit Netflix show, Orange is the New Black, Kerman’s memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, recounts the 15 months that she spent in the Danbury Correctional Facility for a crime she had committed ten years prior as a very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking. The stories of the women she met while in prison raise issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison.

The original Netflix series was created by,Jenji Kohan, creator of Showtime’s Weed’s, and was recently renewed for a second season. It has been called “the best TV show about prison ever made” by the Washington Post and was lauded by Time’s TV critic James Poniewozik for “the stunningly matter-of-fact way it uses the prison to create one of TV’s most racially and sexually diverse-and as important, complex-dramas [and] contrasts the power and class dynamics inside the prison with those outside the prison.”

Kerman has delivered lectures to campuses across the country, and has also spoken to groups that include the American Correctional Association’s Disproportionate Minority Confinement Task Force, federal probation officers, public defenders, justice reform advocates and volunteers, and formerly and currently incarcerated people. She serves on the board of the Women’s Prison Association.

Event Details

Who: Piper Kerman

What: Bestselling Author Piper Kerman Speaks in Celebration of Chatham’s Women’s History Month

When: Thursday, March 20, 2014. 7 p.m.

Where: Chatham University Campus Chapel – Shadyside Campus

*This event is free and open to the public

The author/speaker is available for media interviews prior to the event. Contact Bill Campbell at 412-365-1140 or to schedule.

For more information on the event, contact the Chatham University Office of Student Affairs at or 412-365-1286.

Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., has a long history of commitment to women’s leadership and issues advocacy, and is the alma mater of environmental icon, Rachel Carson. Today, Chatham is recognized as a leader in the field of sustainability, having been named to The Princeton Review’s Green College Honor Roll, been honored by the US EPA, named to Sierra magazines list of top 25 “cool schools” and mentioned in a 2012 Forbes article as one of the places “contributing to Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for green living.” Building on these accomplishments, Chatham will open in early 2014, the world’s first fully sustainable campuses in higher education, Eden Hall Campus, with completion of the first stage of construction on its 20-year master plan.

Consisting of three colleges and the Falk School of Sustainability, Chatham’s works to prepare its 2,000+ undergraduate and graduate students to create a brighter, healthier tomorrow through the fields of sustainability, health and lab sciences, creative and design arts, business and education.