June 5, 2023

Mneesha Gellman of the Emerson Prison Initiative and the Importance of Education for Incarcerated People

It’s no secret that there are huge cultural and structural barriers which prevent many people in the United States from accessing education.  These barriers are even higher when it comes to those who are incarcerated. And yet, there is good evidence that shows that obtaining an education makes huge differences in the lives of the incarcerated.  To discuss, we’ve invited Mneesha Gellman on the show. Mneesha is the founder and Director of the Emerson Prison Initiative, which makes college available to incarcerated students in Massachusetts. She is the editor of Education Behind the Wall: Why and How We Teach in Prison and co-editor of the forthcoming book Unlocking Potential: Education in Prison Around the World.


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Sources for audio clips

Emerson College professor calls successful prison initiative a "deep labor of love" - CBS Boston https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmbjtw7k7Rg
From Ball and Chain to Cap and Gown: Getting a B.A. Behind Bars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3cAfuDJmYk
Education in Prisons | Karyn-Lynn Fisette | TEDxPortlandStateUniversity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6u33rS3TQ4
Back to School: Emerson Prison Initiative Students Reflect on Unexpected Lessons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmg_YDsRKwM
Clip 1
Pell grants could help educate more prisoners - Scripps News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOejPvCDCQw
Clip 2
Why Invest in College in Prisons? - Vera Institute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwOO34Njn9E&t=4s
Clip 3
The school-to-prison pipeline, explained - VOX https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoKkasEyDOI
Clip 4
Emerson Prison Initiative 2023 Conference on Educational Access - Alumni Panel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtVZ-ybqJn4
Emerson Prison Initiative: John's Story https://guides.library.emerson.edu/IDEAS/EPI

Show Credits

Host: Alyssa Milano
Executive Producer: Alyssa Milano
Associate Producer: Ben Jackson
Editing and Sound Production: Maciej Lewandowski
Music by: Josh Cooke & Eleisha Eagle and Milo Bugliari