The Rikers Island Education Project – Columbia Students Needed

The Center for Justice is still looking for Columbia students to participate in the first semester of programming of the Rikers Island Education Project.
The project provides opportunities for youth at Rikers Island to engage with education outside of the traditional classroom, to cultivate positive social emotional development and to engage Columbia students to think critically about issues of justice and incarceration. It utilizes youth education programming, linking collaborative learning with restorative practices to bring Columbia University faculty and students and young people (16-17 year olds) incarcerated at the jail together to participate in a transformative educational process.  The programming is centered around two primary components 1) collaborative education alongside Columbia University students and faculty 2) the use and understanding of restorative practices throughout the programming.   We are currently accepting applications from Columbia students for our spring programs: Beats, Rhymes & Justice; and Social Enterprise Startup.


Beats, Rhymes & Justice       

Columbia students will work in teams alongside the young people to craft and record hip-hop songs with an emphasis on issues of justice.  We are looking for students who are beatmakers, producers, lyricists, poets,  writers and singers who have at least some experience in either music production or writing.  This will include making beats on ipads and writing rhymes/lyrics culminating in each team recording a song.

Social Enterprise Startup           

Columbia students will work in teams alongside the young people to develop an idea and an abbreviated business plan for a social enterprise start up, a for-profit business that also contributes to the public good. This program will culminate in a community event where the teams will present there business plans to a panel of social entrepreneurs.   We are looking for students with experience/ knowledge of social enterprise administration, start ups


Students must be able to attend all orientation workshops and respective program sessions

Orientation Workshops (Friday afternoons 2-4pm: 2/13, 2/20, 2/27 & 3/13)

Required Dates for each program

Beats, Rhymes & Justice (Saturdays 3/14, 3/21, 3/28 & 4/4 + one evening TBD)

Social Enterprise Startup (Saturdays 4/18, 4/25. 5/2 & 5/9 + one evening TBD)

All student applicants should have a strong commitment to social justice, youth development and collaborative learning.  Undergraduate and graduate students may apply. 


All student applicants should send an email with a resume, sample of work if you have one, 1 reference and 1-2 paragraphs addressing the following;

-Why you are interested in participating
-Any experience / education in the area of the programming (i.e. music production)
-What you hope to get out of participating

DEADLINES: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Feb 12th

TO APPLY email our Student Coordinator Marcos Rocha Jr. at