Gender Justice

Accessible Forums for Social Justice, Gender Justice, LGBTQ+

Freedom Education Project Puget Sound

FEPPS (@FreedomEdProj) / Twitter
http://fepps.org/

Making a Difference for Women and Trans People in Prison

This non-profit organization provides college classes to women and trans people who are in prison so that they can get either their associates degree or a bachelor of arts degree. This is important because it helps prevent these people from getting sent to prison again after they get out of prison and helps them get jobs once they are released.

A History and A Purpose

This organization was started in 2011 when a group at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) called the Women’s Village started inviting professors to the prison to teach college classes to the women.

Serving Women and Trans Inmates

This organization serves Women and Trans inmates in prisons around the Puget Sound area. They offer associate and bachelor degree programs to help inmates prepare for their future once they get out of the prison. So far they only work with Washington’s Corrections Center for Women and have not yet branched out to helping other groups of people in prisons with other genders or juvenile detention facilities.

Ways to Improve

This organization has a great website with a lot of information on it. They could go into more detail about their history or provide a list of specific prisons that they work in but other than that I found everything very easily.

Information Accessibility

The information on the website was very accessible with a clear board of directors and staff as well as information about how they use donations. It was also up to date with current Covid guidelines and a warning about a scam that has been using their name.

Similar Organizations

A similar organization is the Women’s Village. Women’s Village is an organization in WCCW, which I mentioned in the history section of my post.

Another similar organization is the Prison Education Foundation which provides higher education to men and women in prison. https://www.prisonedu.org/

Gender Justice, Students of Color

Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)

Why is this Nonprofit important?

After so long of women having to fight so hard for something as simple as equal rights to men, we still face obstacles as women and some of us tend to shy away from leading, or a challenge. Women of color specifically experience societal downfalls. The typical school layout has made it easier for students to stand on the sidelines rather than choosing to be involved in leadership opportunities. This organization (Y-WE) helps young women empower themselves and creates a community with a sense of belonging.

Brief history and purpose of the organization

This Nonprofit has been an independent organization since 2015 but it started off as a 7-month pilot leadership program in 2010. It was so successful that everyone who was involved in the program in any way created an organization that would offer year-round programs for girls and women. Y-WE provides a community for young women who are moving towards adulthood identify college and career interests, while also exploring ways to take action in their communities.

Whom do they serve? What programs are offered?

The organization name clues you into the audience they are directed towards. Young women around the Seattle area (especially women of color) who are approaching a more independent age. Y-WE has a plethora of programs to partake in. Some are more conversational such as the Anti-Racism Accountability Program that helps people engage in conversation around how we can be anti-racist and be strong allies for the Black community. They also provide more hands-on programs like the Y-WE Tech Program that teaches young women how to use technology tools for learning, career success, self-expression, social change, and the history of women in technology. There are many other programs offered for young girls to be engaged with their community.

What could they do better?

This nonprofit has pretty much done everything correctly, they are helping the community, provided volunteer opportunities, made it possible to donate money and overall have helped so many young women in the Seattle area. One thing that their website seems to be missing comments from the girls who have been a part of Y-WE. There is one video of them explaining their overall experience with the organization, but I feel like there should be a place on the website where the alumni can comment on the specific programs and add in what they liked, didn’t like, and their recommendations.

Was information about the organization accessible?

Yes. This was a very accessible website and not confusing to use at all. All of the information they provide is clear and concise. They made it easy to navigate and find the specific information you are looking for.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

There are some other organizations that have a similar goal and are doing similar work in this community. There is a nonprofit called Powerful Voices that is “Reimagining Girl Power” by building a community of female activists for female justice. Another Organization called DigiGirlz that gives high school girls the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.

Gender Justice

FEPPS: Freedom Education Project Puget Sound

Pitchfork Communications | Alliance for Higher Education in Prison

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

The rate at which women are incarcerated continues to increase in the United States. Most of the incarcerated population have received minimal access to higher education or are never given the opportunity for an education due to the length of their sentencing. It is important for incarcerated women to be provided with equal opportunities for education as everyone else in the society. By providing educational organizations in prisons, it allows the incarcerated population to be given a chance of educating themselves in order to provide a successful future.

Brief history of the educational organization that you have researched along with the purpose of the organization?

In 1994 congress had eliminated all federal funds for college in the prison and as a result millions of people in American prisons lacked access to higher education.  The organization known as Women’s Village provides equity and improves the lives of women by providing education, self-empowerment and life skills while being incarcerated. Women’s Village later collaborated with FEPPS and invited professors to the prison to talk about building higher education. In 2011 FEPPS provided college courses that were taught by professors in the prison. The purpose of the FEPPS organization is to provide college courses as well as educational programs to increase education for incarcerated women. FEPPS believes that education is the most important factor in breaking the cycles of poverty and incarceration. By providing educational opportunities for these women it increases the chances of women continuing their education and a future careers once they have been released.

Whom do they serve?

FEPPS is committed to serve ALL women that are incarcerated in the Washington state no matter their religion, race, age, or sexual orientation. It not only provides women a chance to receive degrees but also provides education on life skills that can be used after being released from prison.

What programs does FEPPS offer?

Women in the FEPPS organization are able to obtain an associate degree through the Tacoma Community College and are given guaranteed admission once they are released. FEPPS also provides programs for women to obtain a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies for students who have completed an associates through the University of Puget Sound. Although there are a few students in this program, every year there is an increase in participants. Study Halls are also provided weekly for students in the FEPPS organization where they can work one on one with volunteer tutors. These tutors are volunteer students from the Puget Sound and University of Washington that provide educational support that meets the students’ needs to provide a successful education. For students who are not interested in obtaining a degree, they can participate in programs that provide courses that can improve their researching, time management, self-advocacy  and lifelong skills. One major advantage with these programs is that professors have broken down the college curriculum in a way where professors can teach at the students capability levels in order for them to reach their full potential in the class. It has shown that by doing so, the confidence and class participation in students has increased throughout the prison.

What could they do better?

Although FEPPS does an amazing job in providing students that are incarcerated an automatic transfer to the Puget Sound Community College, it does not mention whether there is any support with their finances when they are released and continue their education. For many incarcerated women, they are released with little to no money to live off of. It would be difficult for students to continue their education in community college if they are unable to afford tuition or even the basic academic recourses such as computers and textbooks.

Was information about the organization accessible? Red flags?

FEPPS organization provided accessible information that included not only the programs that were provided, but as well as the history behind this nonprofit. The organization also provides testimonies from students and alumni that were incarcerated in the prison. Background information is accessible for all the staff that are involved In developing this organization as well as other nonprofit organizations that they have collaborated with.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

University Beyond Bars is an organization that provides similar programs with the help of FEPPS for incarcerated men in the Puget Sound. Unloop is another organization that was created in 2015 that helps provide more access to software in correction centers in order to development proper education in prisons. This organization provides college degrees as well as building a pathway to a living wage career for their future lives.

References

Mission & Vision. University Beyond Bars. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.universitybeyondbars.org/mission

Our program. The Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS). (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2022, from http://fepps.org/about-us/what-we-do/

Programs. Unloop. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.un-loop.org/programs/

Gender Justice, Uncategorized

Justice For Girls

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

I believe that especially today we are facing a crisis in a lack of gender equality, especially towards women. This group focuses on research, equity and fights for the justice of girls and those specifically in the juvenile justice system. I think it is so important to hear and notice the girls who have gone through these traumas and abuse and how unfairly they are being treated within the juvenile system. Many of the girls who are put on probation in Washington state have either gone through and or experienced, violence in their own home, child neglect, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. These are things that are going unnoticed and creating reforms can change the way that these functions are being held against girls. 

Brief history of the organization that you have researched along with the purpose of the organization?

This is a non-profit organization that was formed roughly over a decade ago. Within a few years, back in 2016 they were able to gain 501c3 status with the National Girls Innovation Grant. Much of what they do involves training and educating in many different systems that specifically involve girls such as, mental health, school, juvenile justice, and many other things that are going under the radar. They drive a system of three simple steps which involves spotlight, convene, and pilot. 

-Spotlight; collecting data and statics on each issue

-Convene; pulling together a team and or community of people to help support what they are doing

-Pilot; putting into action new models into daily policies and rules 

Whom do they serve?

They serve many people such as law enforcement, school educators, and most importantly girls. They serve these people and communities to better support the needs of girls and the trauma that they have gone through. They serve to create a program that serves along the Coalition staff and board members to advocate for girls.

-Young girls who have experienced domestic violence or forms of trauma

-Juvenile Justice for girls

-Mental health care for girls

-Schooling for girls

Programs offered?

One Girl Better Systems Program

  • Informs community led interventions
  • They are comprised of community members who focus on the success of girls at risk in court, for running away as well as traut from school

GAIN Program

  • Educates women and girls about issues such as housing, juvenile justice, education and many other things
  • They provide an environment where girls can learn to advocate and use their voices

Beyond Pink Program

  • Beyond pink serves as a one day event where many people can train with advocates and professionals to learn about the juvenile system, child welfare, education and more things related to this topic

What could they do better?

I think that they could have added a little bit more about the history and the people who built up the nonprofit. There was only little to no information about the steps they took to get where they are which I think would have been very informative and important to include in their opening page statement. 

Was information about the organization accessible? Red flags?

Everything on the website is very accessible and very clear. They have tabs for everything at the top of the page with clear statements and clean formatting. They also provide an option to login with a membership which I believe adds more authenticity. 

What other organizations are doing similar work?

Gender Justice 

Gender Justice League 

Coalition of Washington state (Justice For Girls) Sarah Cosworth Walker, https://www.jfgcoalition.org/beyond-pink

Gender Justice, Immigrant, Latino Students, Low Income, Native Students, Students of Color

Everyone Deserves an Education.

In research of organizations who aim in improving the education of children, I discovered the organization Plan International, which believes every child has the right and need for an education, no matter their social position or gender. Although not located in the Puget Sound area, this is an INTERNATIONAL organization that serves girls all over the world, even here in Puget Sound. Their teams travels to present at schools, higher education facilities, work places, and career fairs.

Why Plan International?

11 years ago I was an immigrant girl with a family who could barely afford a one bedroom apartment. I was enrolled into my local public school. I had an education, but my peers around me had more. They were always busy with supplemental education and extracurricular activities my parents just could not afford for me. But I was lucky to receive some form of education in the first place. Although I wish I had more, some children wish for the same access to education that I did, “124 million children across the world are out of school and 250 million are not learning basic skills as a result of poor quality education”(Plan International). This is what Plan International hopes to give aspiring students: an education.

History & Purpose

This organization, founded 80 years ago, is present in 75 countries to improve education for children and equalize education for girls. A British journalist, John Langdon-Davies, who began this project by accommodating children’s living needs during the Spanish Civil War, deciphered that there is a direct relationship between a child and a sponsor. This is how he started his first programs, that involved direct sponsorships of a child, providing an individual form of support instead of a unified sponsorship for a lot of children. Today, this organization’s purpose is not only to make sure every child has an access to education, but has the appropriate education fitting their needs and goals.

Who They Serve

  • Vulnerable and excluded children: ages 3-12
  • Youth: ages 13-24 (support into adulthood)
  • Girls: especially from minority groups
  • Social workers wanting a career opportunity in education improvement

Programs & Information Accessibility

There is a lot of information accessible on this site in learning more about the organization. They have information on everything from their program to career opportunities to their appeal to the COVID19 pandemic. They have programs in various topics, such as education, early childhood, skills and work, early childhood, ending violence, youth activism, emergencies, and sexual health and rights. Their approach to all of their programs is to keep up with the nonstop progression of the world and the “persistent developmental challenges that girls are facing”. They use advocacy of people in higher power to speak up from the voices of the children who have suffered from inequality in education due to their social position or gender. Their biggest campaign is Because I Am a Girl, which aligns with their ambition to work with 100 million girls in the next 5 years.

Plan International believes in the improvement of lives through change in three environmental dimensions:

  • influence on harmful social norms – gender, attitudes, and behavior
  • strengthen and provide safety in personal, social, and economic assets
  • impacting global improvement to policies, legislation, budgets, and government services affecting the lives of children

Commitments:

  • right’s based
  • gender transformative
  • open and accountable
  • working with actors, organizations, and institutions
  • working in all contexts
  • working at all levels

Website Improvements

The website is filled with a large volume of information, which makes me wish they organized it better and are more clear with what they have to offer as an organization. They do have a tab for taking action, but they do not state anywhere for why specifically the reader should take action and in what specific way. I still love and respect the mission and various campaigns of this organization and I believe they will accomplish their goal of changing the lives of 100 million girls.

Similar Organizations

  • Asia Society – The Center for Global Education at Asia Society aims to educate ALL students to benefit their careers and citizenship in their global area
  • International Education & Resource Network – non-profit organization who’s purpose to to allow all students to have accessibility to education through global networking and the Internet to participate in collaborative education projects to enhance learning and social awareness

Image source: https://plan-international.org/sites/default/files/styles/grid_block_image/public/201710-tgo-20-lpr.jpg?itok=PeIt8hri&timestamp=1530027722

View More
Skip to content