Public Humanities Initiative

This edition of The Confined Arts will be a symposium consisting of an art exhibition, poetry, a panel discussion, a promotional screening, and more. Opportunities and Change will be collaborating with the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement to highlight the humanity of the people held in solitary confinement inside of our nation’s prisons. Additionally, we hope to raise awareness about the inhumane conditions and the use of solitary confinement to educate attendees.

Beyond the Bars 2016: Connecting the Struggles

Friday, March 4, 2016 - Sunday, March 6, 2016

Registration Required: The 6th annual Beyond the Bars Conference, "Connecting the Struggles," aims to connect the many ways in which mass incarceration has impacted individuals, families and communities across the U.S, and beyond, as well as build connections across diverse struggles for social justice.

Real Women, Real Voices

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Real Women Real Voices symposium will highlight the issues and concerns that impact incarcerated women. The three-part event will feature a video simulcast of currently incarcerated women, joined by formerly incarcerated women and children of incarcerated parents discussing the impact of imprisonment and need for carceral policy reform. The Ladies of Hope Ministries presents the Real Women Real Voices symposium as a precursor to the 2016 Beyond the Bars Conference.

  • Susan Castagnetto, Coordinator, Intercollegiate Women's Studies of The Claremont Colleges
  • Todd Young, Alumni Coordinator, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison
  • Mary Shanley, Professor of Political Science on the Margaret Stiles Halleck Chair, Vassar College
  • Geraldine Downey, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University

This teaching workshop brings together faculty, graduate students, administrators and community members interested in teaching in prison and in prison education programs. Speakers discuss the classes and programs they lead and share their expereinces engaging in prison education. A question and answer period will follow their presentations.

Justice Poetry featuring the BreakBeat Poets

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
  • Kevin Coval, Poet, Author and Organizer
  • Nate Marshall, Poet and Rapper
  • Angel Nafis, Poet
  • Morgan Parker, Poet
  • Messiah Ramkissoon, Poet, Emcee, and Youth Activist

An evening of justice poetry featuring the editors and contributor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop. Poets read from their new and published works related to issues of justice and discuss the events and experiences that inspired them. Poet and activist Messiah Ramkissoon will open the event with a poem dedicated to the memory of Kalief Browder, and Columbia Adjuct Professor Morgan Parker with close the evening with a poetry selection. During the discussion period, the poets will be joined in conversation with the widely acclaimed rapper Pharoahe Monch.

The Confined Arts: Art Exhibition and Conference

Friday, December 4, 2015 - Sunday, December 6, 2015

This 3rd edition of The Confined Arts will be a 40-day art exhibition launched at an opening weekend consisting of art, poetry, motivational speaking, panel discussions, a promotional screening, hands-on workshops, and more.

  • Josh Dubler, Assistant Professor of Religion, University of Rochester

Joshua Dubler is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Rochester and served as a post-doctoral fellow with the Society of Fellows in the Humanities from 2008-2011. Joshua earned his PhD in Religion from Princeton University. His dissertation was an ethnographic study of the chapel at Graterford Prison, which he turned into a book Down in the Chapel (FSG, 2013).

CRY HAVOC: One-person Play

Friday, November 13, 2015
  • Stephan Wolfert, Actor/Writer/Director

Cry Havoc is a one-person play, written and performed by Stephan Wolfert and directed by Eric Tucker, that unites veterans and non-veterans and explores the difficulties that our veterans and their families face. After overcoming two years of paralysis and six years in the Army, while battling PTSD, Stephan Wolfert met William Shakespeare on a train. Twenty years later, using Shakespeare’s timeless words, actor/veteran Stephan Wolfert rides that train again. This time, leading the audience on an interactive journey through Shakespeare & his veterans. 


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