Self-inquiry Through Writing
This spring, R.O.O.T.S. members participated in an intensive writing workshop, a collaboration between VCU’s OPEN MINDS program and R.O.O.T.S. In this unique seminar, recently released individuals exchange ideas with VCU students about life inside and outside the criminal system. In personal essays and poems, workshop participants share their diverse experiences and views. Writers set an intention to be honest with themselves and one another while they wrestle with describing the “forces in jail and ‘out there’ in society that would subvert our courageous choices.”
OPEN MINDS is a college program sponsored by the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office and Virginia Commonwealth University offering dual enrollment classes for VCU students and incarcerated residents at the Richmond City Jail. Classes from a variety of disciplines challenge all students, incarcerated and free, to think critically about the social problems surrounding crime. The program received a Currents of Change Award for Community Engaged Teaching among others.