Panel discussion explores legacy of historic & modern-day concentration camps

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In isolation cells at holding facilities for undocumented, unaccompanied youth, children are kept, sometimes for months or longer, under highly punitive conditions. Their movement is restricted, socialization minimized, and what freedom they have is limited to the boundaries of their imagination.

It was a desire to cultivate this power of expression for those who most need it that first brought poet and professor Seth Michelson to one of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement’s maximum-security immigration detention centers, where he began a series of poetry workshops with the incarcerated teens.

On September, Michelson joined a panel of authors, historians, and activists at the Johns Hopkins Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship “American Concentration Camp Teach-In.” The event invited guests to think critically about the history of concentration camps and what types of facilities, historically, the term has—and has not—been applied to.