JDC writing program collaboration with students at SUNY Oneonta

Each week, young people at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center participate in a writing workshop offered by Mix IT Up! Project Coordinator Joe Coyle. The writers develop original poetry and prose, enter their work in a variety of contests, and publish in The Beat Within. Each writer also has the opportunity to share their work with folks from around the country who provide supportive feedback to the writers through an e-mail listserv that Joe maintains.

Some of the most recent feedback providers were students who enrolled in “Women & Prison,” a class taught by Breea Willingham at SUNY Oneonta. Willingham’s course analyzed “the issues that go beyond an immediate concern with the institution of prison and challenged students to think critically about the social issues of race, class, gender and incarceration.” Each student in Willingham’s class provided constructive feedback to the writers at the detention center as a part of their course work. Thanks to Breea Willingham and all of the students in Sociology 294 “Women & Prison” for participating in this collaboration!

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