Walls to Bridges

Neil Besner, June 28, 2016

Provost & VP Academic, The University of Winnipeg

Dr. Besner described the graduation event at the Women’s Correctional Centre, Headingly as the most touching celebration in his experience … inspirational.

Betha, June 28, 2016

Student in W2BMB Program, Valedictorian

“The opportunity took our moments of grey and gave us colours of hope.”

Delight Knapp, June 28, 2016

Teacher, Women’s Correctional Centre, Headingly

“I just want to begin by thanking the U of W for bringing this incredible opportunity to WCC. You can’t even imagine the excitement and stir that it has created in our environment here. Running into the students over the last few weeks and seeing them glow when I ask how the courses are going has told me everything I need to know. The response has always been … ‘I just love it.’”

Kataryna, June 28, 2016

Student in W2BMC Program, Valedictorian

“We all wanted to share and learn from each other from our very first moments together. This desire we all shared carried right through to our last class together. It amazes me how well we are all connected on a spiritual and intellectual level. The knowledge that we have all gained from this experience will be carried with us. And just like the stories that brought us together, our story will be timeless.”

Tara, June 28, 2016

Student, W2BMB Program, Valedictorian

“We cannot and should not define others by society’s social norms. We can change how we choose to see other people, other communities, other cultures. This was an incredibly unique classroom setting. I have never taken so much from a course and applied it to my daily life. Moving forward I think it is so important for us to remember the message to ask, ask, ask questions and to understand how we were classmates, on equal footing, with no biases.”

B. & K. Campbell, July 6, 2016

Parents of Student

“While the event [Walls to Bridges Graduation] made a huge impact on us, the program made a much larger impact on its students! Pride, the excitement of learning, and the huge sense of accomplishment filled the room. We have attended other academic events: undergraduate, masters, and engineering ring ceremonies, but none of these had the impact that this event did. Walls to Bridges is an amazing program."

"The courses were organized and taught by amazing people. Their belief in this program is making a huge change in many lives. Congratulations for having this program! We sincerely hope Walls to Bridges continues and expands.”

Pat Van Ryssel, July 8, 2016

Stride Coordinator, Women’s Correctional Centre, Headingly

Initiatives for Just Communities

“I facilitate a program called Stride at WCC. The Stride program is a restorative justice program held every Monday evening with a ratio of volunteer to participant of 1:1. The program began just over three years ago.

“It is vital that all the people involved in bringing University courses out to WCC know the incredible impact the W2B program has had. Our Stride Sisters have been involved in the program; there are a number of them who have undergone a remarkable transformation! We have seen them light up, have purpose and exhibit confidence that we have not witnessed before. During our sharing circle they have taken us on their journey of hard work that has resulted in tremendous accomplishment! Please let everyone know the impact this has had in the lives of our Stride Sisters. It is our fervent hope that this relationship with The University of Winnipeg continues and flourishes.

“Education can truly be the turning point and opportunity that can set our Stride Sisters free in every respect.”