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Betty Jo BarrettProfessor Betty Jo Barrett will lead the fall 2022 Walls to Bridges course “Tough Chicks.”

Applications open for course to bring learning to correctional settings

Applications are now open for the fall 2022 Walls to Bridges course “Tough Chicks: Representations of Women’s Strength and Anger in Popular Culture and Society.”

This will be the fifth Walls to Bridges course offered by Women’s and Gender Studies in the School of Social Work at South West Detention Centre. The classes are taught in jails, prison, and community correctional settings, bringing together students who have been incarcerated with those enrolled in university programs.

An important principle of W2B courses is that students from outside the correctional system are not “mentoring,” or “helping,” or “working with” criminalized students, says instructor Betty Jo Barrett: “All participants in the class are peers, learning the class content together through innovative, experiential, and dialogical processes.”

The current course examines popular interest in “tough chicks.” Students investigate the social construction of women’s and girls’ anger and aggression in fiction, popular media, and real life. On completion, students earn credit in either arts or social science.

The course is open to UWindsor undergraduates in all majors with at least Semester 3 standing. Students must complete a written application and online interview process. The course can only accept female-identified students because instruction takes place in the women’s unit of the South West Detention Centre.

The deadline to apply is May 20; find more information and the course application form on the program website.

The program is supported by the Nancy Gobatto Walls to Bridges Fund, which supports education for incarcerated students by covering the costs of their tuition and books. It is named to honour the late women’s and gender studies professor Nancy Gobatto, who died in August 2016. To make a contribution, visit the University’s donation page