Annually, hundreds of individuals from over 300 organizations gather to learn how to best advance higher education in prison while also collaborating with like-minded individuals dedicated to advocating for the educational rights of incarcerated students during the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP), hosted by the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison. The Alliance is guided by the vision that all people, including those in prison, have access to higher education–a vision that motivates every attendee. 

Beginning on October 11th, 2022, NCHEP will host their 12th iteration of the conference with a focus on: What’s Next? Higher Education in Prison and its Future(s). Sponsored in part by the Michelson 20MM Foundation, NCHEP 12 will dive into paying with Pell Grants, building connections, eTutoring, educational equity and accessibility through technology, advancing college opportunities, centering the voices of formerly incarcerated women in educational leadership, and more. 

This year’s keynote address will feature Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, who will discuss “Education and the Abolition Movement: Stories from Our Struggle.” Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Dr. Gilmore has dedicated much of her career towards racial capitalism and abolition as  a green, red, and internationalist project of liberation. 

On the 11th at 3:00 pm, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in California’s Guiding Principles: Pathways From Prison to College, featuring four members of the Smart Justice Think Tank

  • Steven Green, Project Rebound California State University, Fullerton
  • Danny Murillo, The Michelson 20MM Foundation 
  • Keramet Reiter, LIFTED – University of California Irvine 
  • Azadeh Zohrabi, Berkeley Underground Scholars 

During the panel discussion, the Best Practices’ authors will share California’s Best Practices: Pathways from Prison to College, which are specifically designed to ensure that students with lived experience have equitable access to higher education in prison and on campus. Ultimately, the Smart Justice Think Tanks aims to establish a model to develop supportive programming for justice impacted scholars across the United States.

We eagerly anticipate NCHEP 12 and hope to see you virtually there on the 11th! Together, we can ensure that all currently and formerly incarcerated persons have an equal opportunity to succeed as students and individuals.

Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation seeking to accelerate progress towards a more just world through grantmaking, operating programs, and impact investing. Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.

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