Advocacy / Policy

Become a BPI TAP Advocacy Fellow!

BPI TAP Advocacy Fellowship

Overview

The Bard Prison Initiative seeks four Fellows for a three-month BPI TAP Advocacy Fellowship. The Fellowship will run from Jan 3, 2022 through April 1, 2022, and offer four BPI alumni or other formerly incarcerated alumni of other college-in-prison programs the opportunity to leverage their experience as students and alums toward creating greater educational access for incarcerated people. Fellows will contribute 20 hours per month to the Fellowship and receive a monthly stipend of $500 ($1500 total over 3 months.)

Fellows will work closely with BPI’s Senior Government Affairs Officer, Dyjaun Tatro, to execute a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) restoration strategy focused on advancing the bill through the New York State legislature while building executive chamber support. The Fellowship will be managed by Jessica Neptune, BPI’s Director of National Engagement.

 

Background 

After Congress banned Pell Grant eligibility from people in prison in 1994, New York State implemented a ban on Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility, which is state-level need-based aid, in 1995. As a result, the number of college-in-prison programs in New York fell from over 70 to 4. Following the federal reinstatement of Pell Grants for incarcerated students in 2020, stakeholders in New York are renewing efforts to restore TAP for people in prison, too. A combination of state and federal funding can ensure that college-in-prison programs are stable and sustainable.

This effort is led by the Turn On The TAP Campaign, College & Community Fellowship, and BPI. The bipartisan restoration of Pell Grant eligibility to incarcerated students is a clear political endorsement of the value of college-in-prison. Help us convince New York lawmakers that it is past time to also restore TAP!

Responsibilities

  • Undergo political advocacy and strategy training with Adams Advisors

  • Participate in grassroots mobilization efforts around TAP restoration

  • Attend coalition or/legislative meetings on behalf of TAP restoration

  • Write an op-ed and/or blogpost in support TAP restoration

  • Create social media assets that BPI will deploy in support of TAP Restoration and other BPI fundraising and advocacy initiatives

  • Devote 20 hours each month to BPI’s TAP Restoration Campaign

 

To apply for this Fellowship, please submit:

  • Cover letter

  • Resume

  • One-page letter of interest that discusses your interest in this Fellowship, demonstrates narrative crafting abilities, and explains the importance of college-in-prison.

  • Send all materials as attachments to jneptune@bard.edu

We will begin reviewing applications on Dec 13th. 

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