Educate Don't Incarcerate: Reversing the School to Prison Pipeline

On November 20, the Center, NYREN, the EIO Coalition, and John Jay College’s PRI co-hosted “Educate Don’t Incarcerate” at the Talking Transition tent to call for increased educational access and support for New Yorkers with criminal records.

Our team was selected to organize and host an event at the Talking Transition tent in Hudson Square. The event, “Educate Don’t Incarcerate: Reversing the School to Prison Pipeline,” which took place on Wednesday, November 20 from 4 to 6 pm, drew more than 200 attendees who came to participate in the call for increased educational access and support for New Yorkers with criminal records.

The event provided a platform for the public and Mayor-Elect de Blasio’s transition team to hear from students and graduates whose lives have been transformed through educational opportunities while in prison, after being released, and/or while under community supervision. During the event, NYREN also launched its 2014 City Policy Recommendations designed to create a comprehensive cross-sector education and reentry strategy that emphasizes systems alignment and communication and increased access to quality programs for justice-involved people.

Speakers included Glenn E. Martin, Marlon Peterson, and Stacy Soria from the Fortune Society, Vivian Nixon from College and Community Fellowship, Trevor Polyte Mobley from Getting Out & Staying Out, Ray Tebout from College Initiative, Bianca Van Heydoorn from the Prisoner Reentry Institute, Terrence Coffie from The Doe Fund, and students from Future Now at Bronx Community College. The event closed with a performance by College and Community Fellowship’s Theater for Social Change.

Talking Transition, a city-wide effort sponsored by several international, national and local foundations, was intended to engage New Yorkers in the transition to the new mayoral administration, which will begin on January 1, 2014, and create a forum for informing Mayor-Elect de Blasio’s team about New Yorkers’ priorities and vision for our city’s future. In addition to “Educate Don’t Incarcerate,” other events included “Are We There Yet? Next Steps in New York City's Journey to LGBT Equality,” “Protecting Affordable Housing in New York City,” and “Protecting the Waterfront and Revitalizing it for Fun, Recreation, Commerce and Transportation.”