Summer 2017

  When we started teaching writing at Dade Correctional Institution (DCI) nearly three years ago, we had no idea how quickly our classes would gain traction, prompting us to expand to other courses and then other institutions. Our success, which includes 17 classes this past semester and more than 400 diplomas awarded for completing courses that range from the creative to the practical, is less about our instructors showing up each week than it is a response to the unfed appetite of talent behind bars. Writing exchanges with academic institutions and open exhibits of our students’ work have helped their genius cross over the razor wire and into public view. Several of our students have won awards and been published, and two of our students’ work will be included in an upcoming anthology. Our dedicated board, an exceptional group of facilitators, our academic and community partners, and our selfless interns are helping us to expand our mission to teach writing in prison, foster leadership, and promote dialogue across social and institutional barriers. We continue to focus on collaborations that nurture empathy and advocacy and create individual and social change.