Education and the American Prison System: Reverend Vivian Nixon Lectured at Columbia

For the Spring 2017 Community Scholars Lecture on March 7th, Reverend Vivian Nixon gave a lecture entitled: “Voices From Inside America’s Mass System of Punishment: The Freeing Power of Higher Education!”

Rev. Nixon is the Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship (CCF), an organization committed to removing barriers to higher education for women with criminal record histories and their families. She was a formerly incarcerated woman and a prior participant in CCF; while incarcerated, she served as a peer educator for the adult basic education program at Albion State Correctional Facility in New York. This experience gave Rev. Nixon a passion for these issues.

Rev. Nixon was ordained by the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC), and she serves as an associate minister at Mt. Zion AMEC in New York City. She is an in-demand speaker who speaks about social inequality, racism, religion in society, and the intersection of the U.S. mass incarceration system and race, gender, religion, education, and poverty. In addition to being a Columbia University University Scholar, she has received multiple honors including the John Jay Medal for Justice, the Ascend Fellowship at the Aspen Institute, and the Soros Justice Fellowship.

Watch the full lecture below:

The Community Scholars Lecture was presented by Columbia University School of Professional Studies Community Relations Department.

The Columbia Community Scholars Program, administered by the Office of Government and Community Affairs and the School of Professional Studies, enables independent scholars to pursue their lifelong learning aspirations, whether it be completing an independent project or attaining skills in a particular area. The program helps to foster and deepen ties between the University and the many independent members of the cultural and intellectual community surrounding it.

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