Virtual Event

Education Justice: Why Prison Classrooms Matter

Virtual Radcliffe

“What college does, it helps us learn about the nation,” said Rodney Spivey-Jones, a 2017 Bard College graduate currently incarcerated at Fishkill Correctional Facility in New York, in the docuseries College behind Bars. “It helps us become civic beings. It helps us understand that we have an interest in our community, that our community is a part of us and we are a part of it.”  

The Bard Prison Initiative and programs at other institutions of higher learning across the country have brought together teachers and learners in incarcerated spaces for years. This panel will gather faculty members, administrators, and students who have participated in such programs to discuss the critical importance of prison education and the pivotal role colleges and universities play in expanding the power of education beyond their campus.  

View the four-part documentary film series College behind Bars on PBS through December 31, 2020, or view the extended trailer for the series.

On November 10, 2020, the Radcliffe Institute will hold an associated virtual program that focuses on students’ voices.


Kaia Stern, practitioner in residence: law, education, and justice at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, lecturer of education and coleader of the Transformative Justice Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and cofounder and director of the Prison Studies Project, Harvard University; executive director, Concord Prison Outreach


Max Kenner, founder and executive director, Bard Prison Initiative

Dyjuan Tatro, government affairs associate, Bard Prison Initiative

Zelda Roland, founding director, Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall at Yale

Lynette Nicole Tannis, adjunct lecturer on education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; author, Educating Incarcerated Youth: Exploring the Impact of Relationships, Expectations, Resources and Accountability (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Craig Steven Wilder, Barton L. Weller Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Free and open to the public. To view this event online, individuals will need to register via Zoom.

For instructions on how to join, see the How to Attend a Radcliffe Event on Zoom webpage.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing a link and password for this meeting.

Live closed captioning will be available for this webinar.