Who we are
The Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener, Ontario is the central hub for Inside-Out Canada. This program brings incarcerated students and campus-enrolled students together as classmates in semester-long college or university courses. Classes are built around dialogue, critical thinking, collaboration and community-building, using the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program model.
We believe in the power of alternative learning communities to foster both individual transformation and wide-scale social change. We believe in educational justice, which includes increased access to higher education and a challenging revitalization of the educational endeavor itself.
We are: inside and outside students and alumni, faculty, coordinators and facilitators, staff, and administrators. We are grateful to the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation for their generous support of our program and of transformative education.
And as one participant put it in her closing ceremony speech:
"We are all students. Learning. Evolving. Erasing. Celebrating. Building bridges, building communities. And growing internally all the while".
What we do
Inside-Out course offerings: Wilfrid Laurier hosts its own Inside-Out program, with courses in both the Faculty of Social Work and the Faculty of Arts. Our central partner in this work is the Grand Valley Institution for Women. Beyond WLU, courses are also currently offered through the University of Toronto Mississauga and Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, British Columbia. More universities around Canada are now developing course offerings in both correctional and community settings: stay tuned.
Instructor Trainings: Inside-Out Canada offers an annual, weeklong Instructor Training for faculty and other educators across the disciplines and across Canada who are interested in learning the Inside-Out pedagogy and offering Inside-Out courses in their own community.
The Walls to Bridges Collective: The Walls to Bridges Collective (W2BC) is the alumnae think tank at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, ON. Inside-Out think tanks serve as expert coaches at Instructor Trainings, offer public education forums and engage in writing and research projects. W2BC is the first Inside-Out think tank in a Canadian prison and the first to form in a prison for women.
Support, Coordination and Network-Building: We offer ongoing support to the network of people who are launching Inside-Out-inspired programming in Canada, whether they are holding courses in prison, jails, or community venues beyond the correctional. We facilitate information- and innovation-sharing amongst people engaged in this work.
Alumni Engagement: We coordinate a Canadian alumni network, for former Inside-Out students inside and outside of prison who want to continue their work beyond the semesterís end. Be in touch with your ideas!
Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work