The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has issued an RFP for its Future of Higher Learning in Prison program.
Through the program, grants will be awarded to prison education providers and organizations working, in this moment of pandemic-generated crisis and national reckoning, to expand or stretch on questions of race and justice — and beyond. The foundation seeks proposals from organizations that are imagining and implementing visionary educational practices; interrogating linkages between education and liberation; and placing the humanities at the center of their work.
The program is open to prison-education programs that confer university or college credit toward degree-granting programs and organizations whose mission includes the analysis and support of higher education in prison. Direct support will be awarded both to providers of college-in-prison programs and to those affiliated with or providing research, curricular, or other support to such programs, possibly including transfer pathway support, career advising, and general counseling support for those leaving incarceration and matriculating to another college or university. Transferrable credit-granting programs are also eligible. Proposals that include opportunities to support the continuum of education post-release will also be considered.
Grants will range from between $250,000 to $1 million over two years.
For the purposes of this RFP, "prison education" encompasses a range of program types that keep the humanities as their focus; are devoted to the highest-quality, rigorous, university-level instruction; prioritize a view of each student as deserving education as a fundamental human right; and remain as accessible as possible to every incarcerated student regardless of the circumstances and term of their incarceration.
To be eligible, applicants must be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or have an organization with 501(c)(3) status serving as a fiscal sponsor and be located in the U.S. or one of its territories.
The registration deadline is August 21, with initial applications due August 28. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a final proposal by November 4, 2020.
See the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.