WJP journalist Ruth Hopkins wins inaugural Sylvester Stein Fellowship

Congratulations to Ruth Hopkins, Senior Journalist at the Wits Justice Project, who was awarded the Sylvester Stein Fellowship for 2016.

Ruth will be spending two and a half months in the United States, visiting the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery and the Marshall Project in New York, investigating the similarities between issues facing both the American and South African criminal justice systems.

Congratulations to Ruth Hopkins, Senior Journalist at the Wits Justice Project, who was awarded the Sylvester Stein Fellowship for 2016.

Ruth will be spending two and a half months in the United States, visiting the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery and the Marshall Project in New York, investigating the similarities between issues facing both the American and South African criminal justice systems.
More specifically, Ruth will be looking at the role of race and class in mass incarcerations and how popular dissent against systematic injustice can eventually lead to reform.


“Through my investigation in the US, I hope to find out what South Africa’s tipping point is,” says Ruth, “what encourages mass mobilisation around issues of (mass) incarceration, race and poverty, like we have seen in the US, following Ferguson, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and others? What will it take in South Africa to forge similar dissent in public discourse that will eventually translate in much needed reform of the system?”


We are so proud of Ruth, who is the inaugural recipient of the award, and are excited to engage with the important content she’ll be producing.
To follow Ruth’s investigation over the next few months visit our blog where we’ll be posting weekly updates tracking her journey.


The Fellowship is a new award presented by the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust in memoriam of author, journalist and anti-apartheid activist Sylvester Stein.  Learn more about the award, and Ruth’s research focus, here.

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