Fifteen formal university partners in the Consortium across ten states represent a diverse range of institutions of higher education including land grant, public and private schools, small colleges and large universities, teaching-focused institutions and research institutions, Catholic and secular institutions, colleges with large and small endowments, and colleges granting associate and bachelor’s degrees. All partners make a fundamental commitment to radical inclusivity, academic excellence, and liberal arts learning that aims to transform individual lives by putting academics first.With an OSUN grant in 2022, BPI has been able to provide capacity-building grants to partners across the Consortium, supporting programs in building computer labs and other needed investments in technology and hardware, launching STEM curricula, scripting database and research infrastructure, building out reentry support systems, and deepening communications and fundraising capacity for long term sustainability.As an institution-building effort, the Consortium has offered strategic support, technical assistance, and critical guidance to colleges and universities as they develop and sustain ambitious college programs based on their own credits and degrees, and local context. BPI has assisted with negotiations between programs and the larger university, advanced relations with corrections institutions, provided initial seed funding, and helped design pilot models.
In 2022, with the support of OSUN, and in partnership with Incarceration Nations Network, BPI again expanded its programmatic support, this time internationally. In January 2022, BPI announced a call for proposals for capacity-building grants specifically for programs outside of the United States. The response far surpassed initial expectations, with two dozen universities submitting proposals for funding. In spring 2022 BPI issued 11 grants to new and existing programs and built a growing community-of-practice with educators from Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and beyond.
Beyond the Consortium’s intensive institution-building work, BPI launched the BPI Summer Residency program in 2019. The Summer Residency is a two-week sequence of immersive workshops on Bard’s Annandale campus in the Hudson Valley, led by BPI staff and alumni subject matter experts. This experience is designed to provide emerging practitioners with hands-on training and to facilitate a broader community-of-practice among participating college-in-prison educators from all across the country and internationally, representing a broad diversity of institutions of higher education.
To deepen support and engagement for this global community-of-practice, BPI has announced a Global Research Fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year, who will facilitate a series of virtual lectures and webinars, and will produce a published piece of research on themes related to education in carceral spaces outside of the United States.Ramiro Gual is the inaugural BPI Global Research Fellow and a professor and researcher with a focus on prisons and human rights in Argentina. He studied Law at University of Buenos Aires and holds a M.S. in Criminology.
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