College and Community Fellowship

Helping women achieve and sustain socio-economic security after their release from incarceration
Image Credit: Lee Wexler, Images for Innovation

Grantee Cohort Fall 2018

Location New York and National

College & Community Fellowship (CCF) was founded 18 years ago to help women graduate from college following their release from incarceration. It was the first reentry organization in the United States to use higher education as its core strategy, and it is the nation’s only reentry service agency focused on women’s college graduation.

Art for Justice supported CCF programming, but is principally intended to support the leadership of Vivian Nixon, a nationally recognized advocate and reformer who has been working on the frontlines of the mass incarceration reform movement. In addition to her work to increase access to higher education for currently and formerly incarcerated people, she has been a national leader in the justice reform field and advocate to improve the lives of justice system-impacted women.

Through an Art for Justice Activating Art and Advocacy grant, CCF commissioned Noelle Ghoussaini, a multi-disciplinary theatre artist, to address voter suppression in New York through creative writing, spoken word and performance. The creative program, which will train justice-impacted people on civic engagement strategies, captures arts’ unique opportunity to build community while bringing people’s narratives to the forefront of the fight to end mass incarceration and build healthy, thriving communities. This training will include creative writing workshops and creative film development of final writing pieces, to include and uplift the lived experiences of people impacted by the justice system. Spurring a community-level movement, trainees will be equipped with train-the-trainer resources in order to pass on their knowledge – centering the voices of those directly impacted to be leaders in the fight for justice.