International Clash Day: Spotlight on The Freedom Education Project Puget Sound

Community Engagement, International Clash Day
Alina Santillan

Because The Clash was anti-racist, anti-fear, pro-solidarity, pro-unity, pro-inclusion, KEXP is taking time to spotlight local social-justice organizations making a difference in our community. This is a public service announcement with GUITARS.

Today, we're spotlighting The Freedom Education Project Puget Sound [FEPPS]. KEXP's Community Engagement Coordinator Alina Santillan spoke with Zoe Brown, the Academic Program Manager, and Paris Coulter, a FEPPS alumni.  

KEXP: Can you talk a little bit about what the Freedom Education Project is? 

Zoe: So, the Freedom Education Project offers a rigorous college program out at the Washington Correctional Center for Women. So we offer an Associate of Arts Degree and a direct transfer degree to students who are incarcerated at the Washington Correctional Center for Women. 

And Paris, how are you connected to the work? 

Paris: I was formerly incarcerated and while I was inside, I took some FEPPS classes. I went and enrolled in their college program and successfully transitioned to Seattle Central. 

And that's where you are today. What is your degree in? 

Paris: I'm just getting my AA transfer degree and I will be going to the University of Washington and it will be for Fine Arts in Intaglio printmaking. 

Can you talk about how people can engage with FEPPS and support the work that you're doing? 

Zoe: Absolutely. There are lots of ways to support FEPPS. I think what I want to focus on is the ways at which I encourage people to sit in their communities. Get to know who is going to your school. How are you welcoming students onto your campus? What are you forgetting to do that might create another barrier for someone in accessing education? Just a little shout out to the People's Institute of Survival and Beyond and their workshops in doing Undoing Institutionalized Racism. 

I encourage all of Seattle: get out there y'all, attend those trainings and be able to show up with a common language that supports undoing some of the really harmful institutionalized racism practices that we engage in. As Mary Flowers would say, "be critical lovers of our institutions."