Video of Panel on Women in Prisons: U.S. & Iran

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, the Zanan Group of Northern California organized a panel discussion of  former women prisoners from the US and Iran.   Below are  the video link and bios of the speakers as well as a report about this panel that appeared in the U.S. prisoner solidarity journal, Captured Words, Free Thoughts:

Report published in Captured Words, Free Thoughts:

Video link: 

Please use this passcode after you click on the link below:  U4V*bI36

After typing in the  passcode,  U4V*bI36, click on  the view video link below it.  


Romarilyn Ralston:  Program Director of Project Rebound at California State University, Fullerton, a program that supports the higher education and successful reintegration of the formerly incarcerated. She served 23 years at the California Institution for Women (CIW) and is a long-time member and organizer with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP). Incarcerated at 24 and released at 47, Romarilyn has seen and survived the effects of extreme sentencing and medical neglect in prison. Since her release, Romarilyn was a Women’s Policy Institute Fellow, a volunteer with the Ferguson Commission, and an organizer with the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement (FICPFM) voting rights campaign in Florida. Romarilyn is a prison abolitionist tirelessly advocating for the women she left behind in prison in California, many serving life without the possibility of parole.

Fatemeh Masjedi:  an Iranian academic historian and activist based in Berlin. Member of the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists.  She was a political prisoner in Iran because of her women’s rights activities in one million signatures campaign.

Shahla Talebi is a social cultural anthropologist, currently an associate professor of Religious Studies/anthropology of religion, in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. She has received her B.A. from University of California, Berkeley, and her MA and PhD from Columbia University, in sociocultural anthropology. Talebi’s research and writings revolve around questions of revolution, state, violence, mass incarceration, imprisonment, memory, mourning and memorialization. She also writes on discriminatory discourses and practices involving class, gender, ethnicity, and citizenship. Talebi is the author of critically acclaimed, awards, winning book, Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran, published by Stanford University Press.  Her writings have also appeared in various academic venues, including journals and edited books.


Frieda Afary an Iranian American librarian, translator, writer.  She produces the blog Iranian Progressives in Translation and is a co-founder of the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists.

Video link: 

Please use this passcode after you click on the link below:  U4V*bI36

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *