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Sister Helen Prejean, Author of Dead Man Walking, To Speak Nov. 11 at Hudson Valley Community College

CONTACT: Judith White (518) 629-8063 or Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8071

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, October 29, 2001

Sister Helen Prejean, whose book Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account was the basis for a recent Oscar-winning movie, will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 in the McDonough Sports Complex at Hudson Valley Community College. The program is free and open to the public, although the subject of the presentation may not be appropriate for all audiences. Sister Prejean will participate in a question-and-answer session and book-signing following her talk, and her book will be available for purchase at the event.

Sister Prejean was originally slated to speak at Hudson Valley on Sept. 12, in a symposium for peace and non-violence sponsored by Hudson Valley's campus ministry. Her appearance and the event were canceled due to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Sister Prejean's best-selling book dramatically details her prison ministry to a convicted killer as he faced death by execution. A Sister of St. Joseph of Medaille, the Roman Catholic nun has witnessed five executions, and devotes herself to educating the public about the death penalty. Her book was nominated for a 1993 Pulitzer Prize, and she has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The nonfiction account of Sister Prejean's efforts work with death row inmates was later made into an Oscar-winning movie directed by Tim Robbins and starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. The film will be shown in the Maureen Stapleton Theatre in the Siek Campus Center at Hudson Valley 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m on Nov. 9 and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 12. All film screenings are free and the public is welcome. No one under 18 will be admitted without an adult because the film is rated "R." Sister Prejean will repeat her presentation for Hudson Valley students only at 10 a.m. on Nov. 12, in the Maureen Stapleton Theatre at the college.

For more information on Sister Helen Prejean or the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille, visit

November 9
Film: Dead Man Walking
11a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m.
Starring Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn and Directed by Tim Robbins.
Sister Helen Prejean's powerful true story of her encounter with the American death penalty begins when she honors a deceptively simple request—becoming a pen pal to a death row inmate. From there, the Roman Catholic Nun from middle-class Louisiana tries to delicately navigate the complex personal, ethical, and legal issues involved, balancing compassion for both the criminals and the people whose lives they destroy. Maureen Stapleton Theatre, Siek Campus Center Rated R (no one under 18 admitted without an adult)

November 11
7:30 p.m.
Lecture: An Evening with Sister Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean will lecture in the McDonough Complex, and will be available to autograph her book.

Film: Dead Man Walking
2 p.m.
See description above
Maureen Stapleton Theatre, Siek Campus Center
Rated R (no one under 18 admitted without an adult)

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.