We just received an email from our alum, Dr. Stephanie Gaskill, that warmed our hearts in this (not so cold, so far) January. Stephanie graduated from BGSU with a history major (2008) and M.A. in history (2010)/ She is now the education director of Operation Restoration, an organization that is bringing college to Louisiana prisons. Stephanie’s path illustrates the many ways in which historians change the world, for the public good, little by little. You can be part of her efforts by sending a copy of Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl or supporting the organization in other ways.
Without further ado, here’s Stephanie’s email:
I know it’s been some time since I have been in touch, so I’m hoping that you all remember me as an undergraduate and then graduate student in the Department of History (2004-2010). After graduating from BGSU, I obtained my PhD in Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. Through my dissertation research on moral rehabilitation at Angola Prison, I became active in movements to end mass incarceration in Louisiana.
About a year ago, I was hired as the Education Director at Operation Restoration, a New Orleans-based nonprofit for currently and formerly incarcerated women and girls. Among our many initiatives, we run a College in Prison Program at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (LCIW). This semester, the students are taking a historiography course in preparation for the launch of a project on the history of Louisiana’s incarcerated women. We are taking our inspiration from the Indiana Women’s Prison History Project, in which incarcerated women in Indiana rewrote the history of their own institution. We hope that incarcerated women in Louisiana can do the same.
As I mentioned, students will be taking a historical methods course to prepare for the project. The main primary source they will be using is Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. We usually try to get most of our textbooks donated, and I thought that since this particular course is historical in nature I would reach out to my alma mater. If you would like to donate a copy, please ship to P.O. Box 56894, New Orleans, LA 70156 (or ship it to Department of History, BGSU, Bowling Green OH 43403 and we’ll deliver it to them—editor’s note).
No obligation, of course. Thank you for considering, and I hope you all are well!
Education Director | Operation Restoration