REAP Networking Breakfast

Refoundry sits on the Advisory Council for the ReEntry Accelerator Program (REAP), co-created by the Tamer Center and Center for Justice at Columbia University. 

About the ReEntry Acceleration Program (REAP)

On April 22nd, 2016 the Tamer Center and the Center for Justice at Columbia University jointly hosted a forum titled “Solutions to Post-Incarceration Employment and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Businesses and Universities.” It brought together over 85 experts from the academic and criminal justice community, employers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, government officials at the city, state, and federal levels, and people directly affected by incarceration and associated with solving the reentry crises.

REAP builds on this foundation and is focused on improving the employment of formerly incarcerated persons (FIPs). The Program consists of two initiatives that are designed to complement one another by educating incarcerated individuals, future business leaders (MBA students), and potential employers:

1. Delivering Business Training to Prisoners: based on the pioneering work by Professor Greg Fairchild (CBS PhD ’02) at the University of Virginia, MBA students will be trained to teach inmates inside of prisons. Leveraging the academic expertise at Columbia Business School, and in partnership with local prisons, we plan to deliver a three course curriculum covering financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and negotiations. This initiative is intended to provide valuable training to incarcerated persons, and to change the perspectives of the MBA students who teach these courses, around talent and hiring of FIPs.

2. Creating New Tools for Employers: in order to help organizations become successful employers of FIPs, we plan to create a portfolio of materials that address practical challenges employers may face when they consider hiring FIPs and also articulate the advantages for employers who invest in hiring and promoting FIPs. This effort will use a multimedia approach: edited video, podcasts, and print. We plan to develop partnerships with other organizations and universities that seek to educate the business community on hiring FIPs.