Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Curriculum Outline

The Women's Collective
Working Out Our Empowerment: New Starts/Stories/Strength/Support/Self/Strategies/Solidarity/Sustainability

Week 1: Starts
·      Boundaries
·      How to support each other
·      Rules, agreement/contract
·      Intro games/icebreakers
·      Class expectations free write

Week 2: Stories
·      Race/Gender/Class
·      Dialogue / dyads

Week 3: Strength
·      Healthy Emotions
·      Dealing with anger, anxiety, etc.
·      What purpose do emotions serve?

Week 4: Support
·      Healthy Friendships
·      Healthy relationships between women
·      Body image, space, self-care and self image
·      Work relationships

Week 5: Self
·      Intimate / Romantic Relationships
·      Healthy romantic relationships
·      Sex
·      Body
Week 6: Strategies
·      DV and SA
·      Safety
·      Unhealthy relationships
·      Dispelling myths

Week 7: Solidarity
·      Family
·      Parenting
·      How do we define family?
·      Creating your own family
·      Boundaries and rules
·      Safe and healthy family relationships

Week 8: Sustainability
·      Wrapping Up
·      Assessment

Friday, August 26, 2011

First Day of Class

Friday, August 26, 2011

Popular education, n.
1. [Education for liberation]—Popular education is essential in developing new leadership to build a bottom-up movement for fundamental social change, justice and equality; see also liberation, revolution, social and economic equality.
2. [Accessible and relevant]—We begin by telling our stories, sh 2. aring and describing our lives, experiences, problems and how we feel about them.
3. [Interactive]—We learn by doing: we participate in dialogue and activities that are fun, including cultural arts such as drama, drawing, music, poetry and video.
4. [Education with an attitude]—We are not neutral: through dialogue and reflection we are moved to act collectively—creating change that will solve the problems of those at the bottom in our communities, those of us who are most oppressed, exploited and marginalized.
5. [Egalitarian]—We are equal. All of us have knowledge to share and teach. All of us are listeners and learners, creating new knowledge and relationships of trust as we build for our future.
6. [Historic]—We see our experience within the context of history, indicating where we have come from and where we are going.
7. [Inclusive]—We see ourselves in relation to all people, including those of different ethnic groups and nationalities, social classes, ages, genders, sexualities and abilities.
8. Consciousness raising]—We critically analyze our experiences, explaining the immediate causes of our problems and discovering the deeper root causes in the structures of the economy, political institutions and culture.
9. [Visionary]—We are hopeful, creating an optimistic vision of the community and global society we want for ourselves and our families.
10. [Strategic]—We are moved to collective action, developing a plan for short-term actions to address the immediate causes of our problems, and long-term movement building to address the root causes of our problems.
11. [Involves the whole person]—We use our head for analysis, reflection, and consciousness; our heart for feeling and vision; and our feet for collective action for the short term and the long haul.
Source: Project South

“Prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings. And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business.” Angela Y Davis, “Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex,” Colorlines, Fall 1998).

Discussion in small groups: What do you think of Davis’s quotation? What is the author saying about prisons?
Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

Sociologist Paul Hirschfield makes the following salient argument in his recent article “Preparing for prison? The criminalization of school discipline in the USA”:

“Penal expansion helped the State manage both rural and urban economic crises.
With respect to urban economic devastation, a campaign of arrest and incapacitation
of an unprecedented pace and scope kept a lid on unrest and opened the door
to strategic urban redevelopment within designated ‘safe zones’ (Parenti, 2000). The
prison-industrial complex also curbed the decline of many white rural areas and,
more broadly, pacified the white working class. Criminal justice expansion artificially tightens the labor market (Western and Beckett, 1999), stimulates the economy of ailing rural communities (Huling, 2002), and affords rural residents greater electoral representation and population-based federal appropriations (Huling, 2002). Accordingly, many rural politicians stake their political careers on the location of juvenile and adult prisons in their districts and the hundreds of stable, well-paying jobs that they promise to generate for their constituents.”

Current all time high prison population in Iowa
The prison population on March 22, 2011 was a record high of 8,977 offenders.
➢ Today, April 1, the population is 8,970. If trends do not change, the DOC will have a record high of over 9,000 offenders.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prison Conference-the first of it's kind at ICIW

On May 7th the GWSS Think tank hosted the first ever all prison conference at ICIW. We divided our conference into four strands: Motherhood, Healthcare and Trauma, Healthy Relationships, and Substance abuse. We invited Professors Ellen Lewin, Ana Merino, and Leslie Schwalm as well as Dr. Nicole Nisly from UIHC healthcare, and Jefri Palermo from the School of Social Work. We also included the entire inside and outside cast from the Eva Luna Project under the direction of Lisa Johnson. The conference ended in a cupcake reception with pictures and hugs all around. The women who attended went to 30 minute panels about each topic. They received handouts and brochures detailing community resources and ways they can advocate for services to help them in prison and after they return to the community. We were very lucky to have the full support of the Prison administration. Some of the prison staff joined our conference, even though it was their day away from work. We want to especially thank Robin Bagby, Linda Haack, Lauren Kastens, and Jennifer Glass for their support. Below are some pictures from the conference. Unfortunately none include the women from the inside who were instrumental in making this happen. Without their networking, hardwork, organization, and research we never could have done the work we did together this year.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Children on the Outside

Children on the Outside: VOICING THE PAIN AND HUMAN COSTS OF PARENTAL INCARCERATION / Justice Strategies Report
By Patricia Allard and Judith Greene, January 2011
“Although the pain of losing a parent to prison is tantamount in many respects to losing a parent to death or divorce, the children who remain ‘on the outside’ appear to suffer a special stigma. Unlike children of the deceased or divorced who tend to benefit from society’s familiarity with and acceptance of their loss, children of the incarcerated too often grow up and grieve under a cloud of low expectations and amidst a swirling set of assumptions that they will fail, that they will themselves resort to a life of crime or that they too will succumb to a life of drug addiction." Justice Strategies, a project of the Tides Center, Inc., is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization. Our mission is to provide high quality policy research to advocates and policymakers pursuing more humane and cost-effective approaches to criminal justice and immigration law enforcement.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Women in Prison

Women in Prison

This is a fact sheet from Amnesty International that covers alot of what we have talked about. It is a bit dated, but much of it is still true.

Healthcare in Women's Prisons

This is a fantastic article from Amnesty International