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Postsecondary Pathways | Behind the Walls and Post-Release | Supporting Learners Impacted by the Legal System
A college education can be the gateway to opportunity. However, opportunity is not equal and often, it is predicated on identity and experiences. Unfortunately, students with carceral experience (justice-involved/impacted individuals) often encounter cultural and systemic barriers. Such barriers adversely affect these students’ access to needed resources and degree completion. Higher education stakeholders must contend with the structures that are in place for justice impacted students and decide if they are sufficient to ensure the wholistic achievement of these learners. This conversation will humanize the experience of justice impacted students, identify the supportive structures that are in place and pinpoint areas where growth is needed.

Mar 16, 2023 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Dr. Rebecca Villarreal
Senior Director @Jobs for the Future (JFF)
Rebecca Villarreal is a senior director at Jobs for the Future. A member of the Center for Justice and Economic Advancement, she is responsible for helping stakeholders change the narrative and remove structural barriers that systematically exclude the more than 70 million people with records from opportunities for economic advancement. Before joining JFF, Rebecca was the director of education philanthropy at Ascendium, a national philanthropy committed to increased socioeconomic mobility through postsecondary education and workforce training for learners from low-income backgrounds. Before that, she served as a program officer on the education team at The Kresge Foundation. She also held positions at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the University of Maryland, College Park.
James Monteiro
Founder & CEO @Reentry Campus Program
James Monteiro is the founder and director of Reentry Campus Program. He works both inside and outside the Adult Correction Institution of Rhode Island to ensure that incarcerated individuals have a college degree pathway that is integrated into the support systems needed upon release.
Lauren Solina
Coordinator of Special Programs for Correctional Education @Tennessee Board of Regents
Lauren currently works to administer a statewide system of post-secondary education within state-run facilities in order to provide high-quality education, access and choice to those incarcerated in TN. We've created a standard of TCAT and community college availability within TDOC facilities. She has prior experience as an academic advisor, adjunct faculty, K12 public school teacher, career coach, public speaker, and fierce advocate for public education.
Terrell A. Blount
Executive Director @The Formerly Incarcerated Graduates Network
Terrell A. Blount is the Executive Director of the Formerly Incarcerated College Graduates Network, a nonprofit supporting the education and career advancement of people directly impacted by the legal system. He was outspoken in the push for Pell grant restoration for people in prison and participated in the Negotiated Rulemaking subcommittee meetings for the U.S. Department of Education, representing currently and formerly incarcerated students. Terrell holds a bachelor degree from Rutgers University School of Communication & Information and also earned his MPA in Nonprofit Management from the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers-Newark.