Lead Mentors: Bill Whitney, Creative Inquiry; Prof. Lee Kern, College of Education

2024 Impact Fellows: 
Ana Sofia Mendoza ‘27
Matt Trust ‘G
Amayah Wade ‘27
Amber Brose '24
Shley Nathan '26


Project Description:

The Beyond Bars project aims to use innovative forms of storytelling as a restorative practice in order to mitigate the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline. The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the systematic funneling of youth into the carceral system through the use of punitive measures in schools. Our team has created a workshop toolkit which is designed to open up space for students to think critically about these punitive measures and the effect which they have on the lives of young people, as well as strengthen these communities. Through the testing and implementation of our toolkit in local schools and organizations, we are gathering data to better understand this tool's effectiveness, and have been achieving amazing results. In the coming year, the team will conduct longitudinal research studies as well as continuing to pilot and refine the toolkit itself. Our goal is to have this resource available nationwide to both educators and students.