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, five day long, 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 (W2BC): W2BC was initiated by students in the first Inside-Out class held at Grand Valley Institution (GVI), and they continue to meet biweekly at GVI to work on issues of social justice and criminalization. The collective has grown to include members who meet outside in the Toronto area and who support the work of the the W2BC. Collective members facilitate instructor trainings and provide ongoing support to those who are going on to set up courses.
Support 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 networking, 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