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David Halbert is the Outreach Manager at The Educational Justice Institute (EJI) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The mission of EJI is to bring about positive policy reform to correctional institutions through the introduction of education and education-based technology into prisons and jails. Before working at EJI, David held an array of positions including working in Boston City Government as well as serving as the Deputy Director of Community Affairs at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. Then in 2018 David leveraged his city government experience and launched his own political campaign running, unsuccessfully, for an at-large seat on the Boston City Council. David graduated in 2003 with a B.A. in English and Communication from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. 


  • What his experience has been as a Black man in America today (7:00)
  • How David’s experience working for the criminal justice system affected his perspective on racial injustice (9:40)
  • What the mission of the Educational Justice Institute at MIT is (14:00)
  • How EJI’s mission to educate incarcerated people has been affected by COVID-19, and the changes EJI has made because of it (17:20)
  • What David’s responsibilities include as Outreach Manager (22:09)
  • How David’s various jobs have overlapped in responsibility (25:00)
  • What advice David has for young Black listeners interested in public service (28:10
  • What it was like campaigning for an at-Large seat on the Boston City Council (32:45)
  • How David got into public service (39:20)
  • What David learned from working on a losing political campaign (not his own)  (45:30)
  • What advice David wished he had gotten in college (50:10)

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