COLLEGE BEHIND BARS
Wed, Sept 16, 2020
7:45 – 9:15 PM (“doors”: 7:30 PM)
Story Screen Drive-In
The Park at USC
724 Wolcott Ave, Beacon
Preorder (through 9/12): $10/person
After 9/12: $12/person
Q&A following the screening
Never Underestimate The Power Of Education
A one-hour condensed version of the four-part PBS documentary series directed by award-winning filmmaker Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns.
College Behind Bars tells the story of a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States — the Bard Prison Initiative.
Shot over four years in maximum and medium security prisons in New York State, the series takes viewers on a stark and intimate journey into one of the most pressing issues of our time — our failure to provide meaningful rehabilitation for the over two million Americans living behind bars.
Through the personal stories of the students and their families, the film reveals the transformative power of higher education and puts a human face on America’s criminal justice crisis. It raises questions we urgently need to address: What is prison for? Who has access to educational opportunity? Who among us is capable of academic excellence? How can we have justice without redemption?
Max Kenner and Tamika Graham
Max Kenner is founder and executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) — among the largest, longest-standing, and most innovative college-in-prison programs in the US — which enrolls incarcerated women and men in academic programs that culminate in degrees from Bard College.
A leading advocate for the restoration of college-in-prison, Kenner frequently speaks publicly on issues of education and criminal justice. He is also co-founder of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, which supports colleges and universities in establishing college-in-prison projects nationwide, and also of the Bard Microcollege, which establishes rigorous, tuition-free college opportunity within urban areas in partnership with community-based institutions.
At Bard College, Kenner serves as Vice President for Institutional Initiatives and Advisor to the President on Public Policy & College Affairs. He has been a fellow-in-residence at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University and has served on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration since its inception. He is the recipient of many awards including the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s New Frontier Award and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Education.
Tamika Graham is a formerly incarcerated woman who was released in 2017, after serving a 9-year sentence. While incarcerated she graduated from Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Since her release she has devoted herself to not only making a change in her community but also making a change in our nation by advocating for an end to mass incarceration, end homelessness and a passionate advocate for the youth because she strongly believes they represent our future. She is also a zealous advocate for access to higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, because she knows that education is a gateway to social and economic mobility.
Ms. Graham actively utilizes her public speaking skills, lived experience, and humble personality to motivate others to action. She has engaged in advocacy with Equity Alliance of Staten Island, BPI, #CLOSErikers and other campaigns and organizations. Tamika is currently the Canvass Director at JustLeadershipUSA and the Lead National Organizer for Beyond the Box Initiative. Before joining JLUSA she was teaching high school equivalency classes at the Brownsville Community Justice Center, and Dreams YouthBuild in Crown Heights with the BPI-TASC program. She is also a Rehabilitation Through the Arts alumna, and sits on their Alumni Advisory Committee.