Two programs at Cal State San Bernardino – Project Rebound and the Center for the Study of Correctional Education – are joining together to deliver the Justice Impacted Students Training Series, with sessions scheduled in September, October and November.
The series, which will be offered virtually in Zoom, is a joint initiative hosted by Project Rebound, the Center for the Study of Correctional Education, Faculty Center for Excellence, Staff Development Center, and Division of Student Affairs.
This workshop was created for the staff and faculty at CSUSB, but organizers are also inviting community partners and the general public to attend and participate in the sessions, as they may interact with, and serve, the same populations.
“We created this training series to uplift the voices, experiences, challenges and successes of the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated participants in our programs,” said Alexandra Cavallaro, associate professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of Correctional Education, and Annika Anderson, associate professor of Sociology and director of Project Rebound. “Throughout our years as directors of our respective programs, there has been a tremendous amount of support from our campus administrators, including our president, deans and departments.
“However, moving forward, we see this series of workshops as an opportunity to educate various stakeholders, interested parties and the campus community about how best to serve our participants. We also hope to learn of any barriers that may exist in garnering support by creating an open dialogue and safe space to discuss and address concerns.”
Registration for the sessions can be done online at the Ally Training Series for Justice Impacted Students webpage.
Cavallaro and Anderson will facilitate the sessions. The four sessions are:
- “Addressing and Dispelling Myths About Formerly Incarcerated Students,” noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. This session will include discussion of common stigmatized myths that surround the formerly incarcerated, and how to dispel those misrepresentations. Presenters will be Melissa Barragan, assistant professor of sociology and criminology at Cal Poly Pomona, where she teaches courses on incarceration, the media and crime; and Pricilla Terriquez, who is pursuing her master’s in social and cultural analysis at Cal State Long Beach, and who currently is the program coordinator for Project Rebound at Cal Poly Pomona.
- “Important Considerations When Working with Formerly Incarcerated Students,” noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21. This session will outline various methods of academic and career support that may be utilized by CSUSB staff and faculty, and will include discussion of some recent legal changes that have opened up career pathways for formerly incarcerated students. Presenters will be Veena Gursahani, deputy director of California programs at Oakland-based Root & Rebound, a legal services organization that supports low-income communities and communities of color harmed by mass incarceration; and James Binnall, associate professor of law, criminology and criminal justice at Cal State Long Beach.
- “The Impact of Community Education and Community Support: Successful Reentry Stories,” noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4. Data will be provided at this session that shows that formerly incarcerated students are dedicated learners who contribute invaluable experiences to the classroom and relentless efforts within the community. Guidance will be provided on encouraging professional development among the formerly incarcerated student population. This session will also include testimonials from formerly incarcerated students and allies.
Presenters will be Michael Griggs, a prison abolitionist and social justice advocate who serves as the outreach coordinator for Project Rebound at CSUSB; and Roberta Fox, a student assistant with Project Rebound who is a 2020 CSUSB graduate with a BA in social work and currently a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program.
- “Inside/Out: Prison Education Showcase,” noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18. Hear from incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people who will share their prison education experiences. Also featured will be a sample in-prison class session during which participants will read and discuss works from incarcerated students.
Presenters will be Alexandra Cavallaro, CSUSB associate professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of Correctional Education, and prison education participants.
A certificate will be awarded to faculty and staff who attend all four sessions and complete a reflective assignment.
Also, a donation will be made to Project Rebound and the Center for the Study of Correctional Education for every staff or faculty member who completes the training series and receives their certificate.