I feel these courses have… made me more excited about learning new things. From Wally Lamb, to Santiago Baca, I can relate to the poverty, the struggles, the pain, the courage. All of it has been a part of my life in some way.

-Carl Harris, RCJ resident

Open Minds courses have been specially designed by VCU faculty to empower the incarcerated and the free, using our differences—in race, ethnicity, gender, class, education and experience—as catalysts for compassionate and critical thought. Realizing that no single academic discipline is fully equipped to articulate the many social problems associated with crime and incarceration, the program takes an interdisciplinary approach, offering a range of courses in the liberal arts, while emphasizing dialogue-based and writing-intensive work throughout the program.


Register for a course or learn more about the areas of study:

Instructors interested in the program can also learn more about teaching a course.