Center for Justice announces the June Jordan Fellowship

Funded by the William R. Kenan Charitable Trust

 

New York, NY (March 1st, 2017) – The Center for Justice at Columbia University announces the June Jordan Fellowship, named in honor of the renowned Harlem-born poet and activist. In each of the next two years, fellowships will be awarded to literary, visual, musical and performance artists who are committed to public engagement. “This fellowship was a dream of the Center for Justice from the very beginning of our work in harnessing the resources of Columbia University to reduce mass incarceration and promote alternative approaches to safety and justice,” said Geraldine Downey, Director of the Center for Justice. “We hope that bringing the various parts of our community together in an artistic endeavor will yield concrete proposals and actionable results on how the literary and performing arts can act as a catalyst for social change.”

 

June Jordan Fellows will work collaboratively with Columbia faculty and community partners to provide workshops that will be open to local community members – including junior and senior high school students – as well as members of Columbia’s student body. One or more of the fellows each year will contribute to Columbia University’s Rikers Education Program—a collaboration between the Center for Justice, and the Heyman Center for the Humanities, which partners Columbia faculty and students with community organizations and artists in order to provide workshops in areas such as music, graphic design and coding. The fellowship will also sponsor summer internships for high school students selected to participate in the JustArts summer program for young people from Harlem and Washington Heights. “Part of what we hope to foster with the June Jordan fellowship is an ongoing conversation, as well as consistent collaborative practice, between emerging artists and a broader community of folks living uptown,” said Dr. Joshua Bennett, director of The June Jordan Fellowship. “Our goal is to create workshop spaces that are not only sites of individual artistic growth and rigorous study, but also gathering, kinship, and play.”

 

The June Jordan Fellowship will bring 3-5 fellows to campus every year, each of whom will teach semester-length workshops. The artwork produced in these workshops will be featured during a day-long conference at the end of the spring semester. Each Fellowship carries a stipend of $26,000.

 

About the Center for Justice at Columbia University

 

The Center for Justice at Columbia University is committed to reducing the nation’s reliance on incarceration and advancing alternative approaches to safety and justice through education, research and policy. Our mission is to help transform a criminal justice system from one that is driven by punishment and retribution to one that is centered on prevention and healing. Our initiatives are interdisciplinary and built around community collaboration. We work in partnership with schools, departments, centers and institutes across Columbia, other universities, government agencies, community organizations, advocates and those directly affected by the criminal justice system. For more information about the Center for Justice, please visit centerforjustice.columbia.edu.

 

Contacts: Dr. Joshua B. Bennett, joshuabennett@fas.harvard.edu; Nicole Delgadillo, ned2118@columbia.edu

 

For more information on the June Jordan Fellowship at Columbia, including application requirements and deadlines for Spring 2017, please visit centerforjustice.columbia.edu/junejordanfellowship or contact Nicole Delgadillo or Dr. Joshua Bennett.

BEYOND THE BARS LINK TO LIVESTREAM

CLICK HERE TO LIFESTREAM THE CONFERENCE

We will be live streaming the Beyond the Bars Conference Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Livestreaming schedule below.

Thursday Night – Women Transcending the Punishment Paradigm (Event Starts at 6:30pm) Columbia Law School

Friday Night – Building the Movement: Conversations with Angela Davis (Event Starts at 7:30pm) Lerner Hall, Columbia University

Saturday: Transcending the Punishment Paradigm – Morning and Afternoon Panels (Panels start at 10am) Columbia School of Social Work

Morning Plenaries (10 -1:15)

  • Understanding the Root Causes of Violence and What Makes Communities Safe (10 – 11:30)
  • Beyond the Non, Non, Nons: Challenging the Narratives of “Violent Criminals” and “Dangerous Communities” (11:45 – 1:15)

Afternoon Plenary (2:15 – 3:45pm)

  • How do we Respond to Violence? Strategies to Transcend the Punishment Paradigm
Afternoon Breakout Session (4:00 – 5:30pm)
  • Safety and Justice Without Prison: Applying Restorative Justice to Violent Crime

Register Now! Beyond the Bars: Transcending the Punishment Paradigm

 

The Beyond the Bars Conference, now going into its 7th year, is an annual event that brings together a trans-disciplinary group to advance the work of ending mass incarceration and mass criminalization and building a just and safe society. Each year the conference brings together scholars, students, activists, advocates, policy makers, government officials and those who have been directly impacted by issues of incarceration and criminalization: for four days, we work to deepen our collective analysis and develop new strategies for change. We are happy to have Angela Davis joining us in these discussions once again

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

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Watch Now “13TH” Film Screening & Discussion – Feb. 8, 2017

“13” is an Oscar-nomintated documentary about mass incarceration in the U.S., racism, and the criminalization of African Americans, directed by Ava DuVernay (“Selma”). Discussion followed with: Professor Jelani Cobb, Columbia Journalism School Professor Geraldine Downey, Columbia University Department of Psychology, Center for Justice Professor Jeffrey A. Fagan, Columbia Law School and Mailman School of Public Health Michelle Miller (Moderator), CBS News.

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW

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Beyond the Bars Call for Artists

The Beyond the Bars Conference at Columbia University is seeking artwork in response to the theme of this year’s conference: Transcending the Punishment Paradigm. The conference will address the criminal justice system’s responses to violence focusing on the following four questions:

  1. What are the root causes of violence within communities? What are the root causes of state violence? How do the two intersect?
  2. What is needed to makes communities safe?
  3. What are the existing narratives about people who have committed violent acts? How do we change those narratives?
  4. When violence happens in the community, what are responses that decrease mass criminalization and incarceration and do not rely on the punishment paradigm?

We are asking artists to interpret and create works of art that represent the theme of Transcending the Punishment Paradigm. What would our society look like if we understood violence differently, looking at structures, environments and state violence as well as the actions of individuals? And what could it look like if all of our systems and responses were focused on prevention and healing, and on restoration and transformation of individuals and communities, instead of retribution and punishment? We invite you to answer these questions through your art.

Selected artwork will be exhibited at the Beyond the Bars Conference on March 4-5, 2017 in New York City. If you are interested in submitting your work, please read the following guidelines:

 

  • Sizing: Due to space limitations, art pieces must be two-dimensional and must not exceed 18” x 24”
  • Artist statements: You may submit up to two paragraphs describing each work submitted, along with a brief summary of your art experience, including education, exhibitions, art-related work experience, awards, etc.
  • Format: Submissions must be in the form of drawings, paintings, photography, or graphic deign
  • File type: All artwork must be submitted electronically in JPEG form. Selected artists will be contacted about shipping their original works to us to be displayed at the conference.
  • Shipping: Once we review your submission, you may be invited to ship your artwork to the Center for Justice at no cost to you. All work must be shipped through FedEx. Additional details will be provided when we contact you.
  • Sales: Please be advised that there will be no art dealing at the conference, so you must label your artwork and provide your contact information, website, etc. so we can direct attendees to you in order to facilitate purchases.

 

We are hoping to exhibit artwork by artists who are impacted by violence and/or the epidemic of incarceration, including but not limited to artists who:

 

  • have experienced incarceration themselves
  • have experienced incarceration through their loved ones or their communities
  • have worked within the criminal justice system
  • have other experiences related to the criminal justice system
  • have participated in activism, organizing, or advocacy work related to social justice

 

How to Submit:

 

To submit your artwork for the 2017 Beyond the Bars Conference, please email beyondthebarsart@gmail.com with JPEG attachments of the work, your artist statement, and your contact info. Please put “Beyond the Bars submission” as the subject heading. Please allow 2 – 3 days for a response from us regarding next steps, shipping, and additional information. The deadline to submit for artists who need to mail their art is Friday February 10th, however local artists who can bring their piece to us may submit up until Friday February 24th.

 

Artists who are currently incarcerated may ship their submissions directly to the Center for Justice at Columbia University at the following address and can expect to receive a reimbursement for shipping costs in the form of a money order:

 

1255 Amsterdam Ave, Rm 828

New York, New York 10030

 

We encourage submissions from artists of color, artists from the LGBTQ community, and artists whose work represents experiences and identities that are often underrepresented in the arts. We look forward to seeing your work.

 

Meet the 2016-17 Beyond the Bars Fellows

We are excited to introduce the 2016-17 Beyond the Bars Fellows, the third cohort of this growing Fellowship.

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Our current Fellows come from many schools across Columbia (Social Work, Teachers College, Columbia College, the School of the Arts, School of Public Health and the Sociology Department), other colleges (Rutgers, New York University, and the Borough of Manhattan Community College) and a variety of different community and government organizations (the Osborne Association, Vera Institute of Justice, the Red Umbrella Project, the Fortune Society, VIBE magazine and the Center for Court Innovations).  We are honored to be working with such a powerful group of people and look forward to seeing the work of the Fellowship continue to grow.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS YEAR’S BEYOND THE BARS FELLOWS

Beyond the Bars 2017: Save the Date and Request for Proposals

Save the Date – Beyond the Bars: Transcending the Punishment Paradigm

March 2-5, 2017

The Beyond the Bars Conference, now going into its 7th year, is an annual event that brings together a trans-disciplinary group to advance the work of ending mass incarceration and mass criminalization and building a just and safe society. Each year scholars, students, activists, advocates, policy makers, government officials and those who have been most directly impacted by issues of incarceration and criminalization come together for three days to deepen our collective analysis, strengthen our network of those working for change and make visible the many ways those from the academy and the community can engage in action.

This year’s conference, Transcending the Punishment Paradigm, will address the criminal justice system’s responses to violence focusing on the following four questions:

  1. What are the root causes of violence within communities? What are the root causes of state violence? How do the two intersect?
  2. What is needed to makes communities safe?
  3. What are the existing narratives about people who have committed violent acts? How do we change those narratives?
  4. When violence happens in the community, what are responses that decrease mass criminalization and incarceration and do not rely on the punishment paradigm?

Request for Proposals

Sunday, March 5, 2017, the third day of the Beyond the Bars conference, will feature 90-minute organizing workshops.  These sessions are designed to facilitate skill-sharing, learning, and active engagement.  The workshops are a chance to present the many political struggles connected to mass criminalization, to teach new tools for advocacy, and to connect participants to opportunities for continued engagement beyond the conference.  What skills do you wish more people had?  What do people need to know in order to contribute more effectively to your work?  What are the concrete steps people can take today to support the work that you’re doing?  We are particularly committed to highlighting the voices and organizing done by: people of color, women, queer and trans people, and young people.

We are interested in proposals that touch on various topics related to violence, including:

  • State violence (including policing, incarceration, deportation, and correctional supervision)
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Community Violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Transformative and restorative justice
  • The distinction between “violent and nonviolent offenders”
  • Trauma and healing
  • Interrupting violence and self-defense
  • Reentry

We are looking forward to learning various skills, including:

  • Self care: how do you do this work while dealing with vicarious trauma?
  • Alternate approaches to combatting violence
  • Anti-oppressive organizational practices
  • Creating political campaigns
  • Community organizing and base building
  • Communicating your message (including the use of social media)
  • Coordinating direct actions
  • Arts-based activism
  • Supporting people experiencing state violence (including currently incarcerated people)
  • Fundraising and budgeting
  • Legal advocacy
  • Mediation

We invite proposals for workshops that address one or more of these foundational topics and skills. In your proposal please emphasize tangible take-aways for participants and the ways you will facilitate this through active participation and/or gaining a deeper understanding of an issue.  

Accepted proposals will be interactive and bridge the gap from analysis to action. We are especially excited about workshops that provide the opportunity for continued involvement after the conference weekend—either through one’s individual actions or through involvement with a group.

All workshops will be 1.5 hours long and take place on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at Columbia University School of Social Work.

To submit a proposal, please fill out the following form by January 31, 2017: https://goo.gl/forms/5sbCrf63CgArmQbm2

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments at: workshops.btb.2017@gmail.com

A Holiday Message From Director Geraldine Downey

December 21st, 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are reaching out after an arduous and contentious election that left much of our country divided, and many with a feeling of discontent and powerlessness. However, instead of feeling defeated, we feel even more driven to continue our work to end mass incarceration. We are dedicated to transforming our criminal justice system from one that focuses on punishment and disenfranchisement to one that that emphasizes people’s humanity and capacity to improve their lives, while ensuring public safety.

As we’ve outlined on the accompanying summary, our accomplishments over the past year have been many; but we cannot do this work alone. In order to effect change in our criminal justice system, we need your help. Your support will allow us to develop frameworks for changing the punitive narrative and to support local and national institutions and communities in implementing new approaches to safety and justice. But more importantly, your financial support will enable us to continue investing in people directly affected by the criminal justice system by providing access to education, employment and leadership opportunities.

 

Consider supporting us so we can continue our work in 2017.

Please Click Here to donate

 

More specifically, your support will help:

  1. Talented students who were formerly incarcerated enroll at Columbia University;
  2. Bring more Columbia University professors to teach credit-bearing courses at correctional facilities in New York State
  3. Provide educational workshops for youth detained at Rikers Island;
  4. Engage community youth in summer-long workshops that combine arts and social justice;
  5. Fund research examining the effects of having a criminal record on people’s chances of applying for and attaining educational and employment opportunities;
  6. The Beyond the Bars conference and the Beyond the Bars Fellowship;
  7. Our policy work on releasing people who have served sentences that exceed concerns for public safety;
  8. Our continued efforts to implement restorative justice-based alternatives to the punishment paradigm in Rikers Island and the state prison system

With your help, we can make an even bigger difference in transforming the criminal justice system next year.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR 2016 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Best Wishes,

Geraldine Downey

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Director

Center for Justice

Understanding the Needs of Women in the Justice System

Kristi DiLallo  is a 2016-2017 Beyond the Bars Fellow, Center for Justice and Intern, Communications, Vera Institute of justice.

She writes: Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new series of prison reform initiatives, including a push to expand resources for incarcerated women.

The DOJ’s new plans suggest a shift in public understanding about the needs of incarcerated women, emphasizing the importance of communication between women and their families, providing treatment for mental illness and drug abuse, and creating more women-specific reentry opportunities.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

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