This Georgia Seminar will take a behind-the-scenes look at the nationally recognized prison education program, Common Good Atlanta (CGA), founded by Sarah Higinbotham of Oxford College and Bill Taft. Since 2008, an all-volunteer consortium of 70 faculty from six universities have taught the liberal arts in four prisons, plus a downtown course for prison-impacted people. The program received a 2019 Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities and was a 2019 finalist for the American Civic Collaboration Awards, which highlight outstanding initiatives working to collaborate across divides at the national, local and youth levels. At the heart of the program’s mission is that broad, democratic access to higher education for people affected by incarceration strengthens the common good of our communities.
The documentary film Common Good Atlanta: Breaking Down the Walls of Mass Incarceration, by Hal Jacobs, looks at the impact of the program on both students and instructors. Incarcerated students find an intellectual freedom that encourages growth and dignity, while instructors find an environment for the liberal arts that is stimulating and trans-formative. A talkback will follow the screening.