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Alison Flowers

ALISON FLOWERS had never heard the phrase “social justice” until she came to Regis as a first-year student, but today it is a large part of her identity as a journalist, advocate and author. Flowers works for the Invisible Institute, a journalism production company on the South Side of Chicago, and has produced award-winning research and writing on hard-hitting criminal justice issues across the nation. In June, she released her already critically acclaimed book, “Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity.”


WHAT LED YOU TO INVESTIGATE SOCIAL INJUSTICES?


After graduating from Regis and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, I found a job in TV news in Georgia where the social justice mission I learned at Regis came into focus. I began reporting on police misconduct, wrongful convictions and exonerations. I also began researching exonerated prisoners and found there’s no aftercare for these people. My research developed into a series for WBEZ radio station in Chicago and my book, “Exoneree Diaries.”


TELL US ABOUT “EXONEREE DIARIES.”


It focuses on exonerated prisoners and how they rebuild their lives after being wrongfully convicted. The book shows the huge gap in the system for exonerees who don’t have any immediate resources and the difficulty of reconnecting with family, the workforce and their identity in the world.


HOW CAN WE ADDRESS SOCIAL INJUSTICES IN TODAY’S WORLD?


Ultimately social injustices are a result of people, not big, hairy intangible issues. I see media as a lever to effect change and reach an audience of decision makers.