There is a new initiative in place to help formerly incarcerated individuals further their educations. The program is presented by Bard College, a private liberal arts college, and will be the third offering of the institution’s Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). It is a partnership between BPI, JustLeadershipUSA and College & Community Fellowship and is open for free to the formerly incarcerated, those impacted by incarceration and those inspired to pursue careers in advocacy, community building, or social justice. Referred to as a Bard Microcollege, the curriculum will be tied to history of social movements, critical race theory, theories of social change, and direct advocacy training.
“JustLeadershipUSA is proud to partner with the Bard Prison Initiative and College & Community Fellowship to launch this new micro college,” said DeAnna Hoskins, president and CEO of JustLeadership, according to Essence. “We know that to truly invest in, elevate, educate and empower directly impacted voices, we must create leadership development and educational programs that fully unleash the potential of marginalized people so that they can drive and create the bold, substantive changes necessary to end systemic oppression and build healthy communities.”
“College & Community Fellowship is delighted to collaborate on this life-changing resource that will be offered to residents of Harlem who have been locked out of opportunities for equity and justice,” reads an official press release from Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship. “It’s been twenty years since I was released from prison. Obtaining a college degree has been the most transformative undertaking on my journey toward a life of self-determination and dedication to social justice. System involved women who are enrolled in the new microcollege will have access to CCF’s range of support programs to build social capital, ensure educational success, and foster civic engagement.”
The program will be based at the Countee Cullen branch of the New York Public Library on 136th St. in Harlem, NYC. To learn more and apply, visit: microcollege.bard.edu/harlem