Call for Scholarship 

Deadline for Abstract/Author application submission: April 22, 2021


The Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity (JCSCORE) is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published in partnership with the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), a production of the University of Oklahoma Outreach. 

JCSCORE (ISSN 2642-2387) is committed to promoting an exchange of ideas that can transform lives, enhance learning, and improve human relations in higher education. The journal explores and examines interaction from interdisciplinary perspectives and reports on the status, needs, and direction of human relations studies affected by race, ethnicity, and sovereignty in higher education policy, practice, and theory.


Within higher education, there is growing momentum to provide students who are incarcerated with access to quality higher education. What’s more, getting an education in prison can have a positive effect on those who serve long-term or life sentences without parole, changing the culture inside facilities. And for the families of those serving time, seeing their loved ones work to better themselves can help break cycles of poverty, addiction, and involvement in the legal system. It’s beyond time for criminal justice reform that includes access to quality postsecondary education in prison. However, we cannot talk about reforming our criminal legal system without acknowledging the systems of injustice and racism that have harmed Black and Brown communities—for generations. The U.S. has nearly 2.3 million people in jails, prisons, and detention centers – and due to injustices and racism, a disproportionate amount of those individuals is Black and Latino. Moreover, Black and Brown children are often shuttled from under-resourced schools to overcrowded jails via a school-to-prison pipeline, in tandem with, Black and Brown children overwhelmingly attending schools with no school counselor but a school resource officer, and ‘zero-tolerance’ policies that criminalize them for minor infractions (Whitaker et al., 2020).

Sadly, these systems of injustice and racism are often repeated in higher education, including higher education in prison programs. In more ways than not, the historical remnants of segregated colleges continue to affect the racial climate on college campuses (Hurtado et al., 2008). Poor racial climates can negatively influence students’ academic and social engagement, sense of belonging, and chances of completing a degree. One aspect of a healthy racial climate is the appropriate representation of students, staff, and faculty of color. Unfortunately, Black and Latino students are underrepresented in higher education, and the lack of diversity in the professoriate is equally — if not more — egregious (Nicholas & Schak, 2019). Moreover, faculty often do not have the benefit of receiving culturally responsive training and development specific to teaching and pedagogy.

This is applicable, and even more critical, within higher education in prison programs as well. According to “Equity and Excellence in Practice: A Guide for Higher Education in Prison” (2019), one of the primary challenges of prison education programs is that they “fail to provide adequate training, support, and professional development for their leadership, staff and instructors.” There are little to no professional development opportunities that focus on best practices for teaching and engaging students impacted by the criminal legal system.

Thus, as the field of higher education moves toward expanding access to higher education for justice-impacted students, the field must contextualize and understand the experiences of justice-impacted students on their campuses and in prison education programs. Including, the multiple ways federal-, state-, and institutional policies are shaping issues at the intersection of higher education and the criminal legal system.


  • Faculty Diversity, Recruitment, and Training
  • College Access and Financial Aid
  • Pedagogy
  • Curriculum
  • Admissions, Enrollment, and Placement
  • Accreditation, Credits, and Degrees
  • Academic Support Services
  • Program Leadership
  • Campus Policing
  • Higher Ed Policy in relation to Higher Ed in Prison

Guiding Questions:

  • How do students and faculty of color navigate the structural and systemic barriers at their institutions and the correctional facilities within their disciplines?
  • What is it that students want and need from all parties involved in administering a higher education in prison program?
  • How can a racial justice framework help to (re)imagine higher education in prison?
  • What can we learn from racial justice movements about intersectionality, campus climate, and more in our current educational context?
  • What concrete policy solutions can activists, researchers, scholars, and students collaborate on to address quality higher education in prison programming for students of color, specifically?

Review and Submission Process:

As co-editors, we will take an active role in interacting with authors throughout the submission period; thus, we hope individuals directly impacted, activists, scholars, and students will feel compelled to submit their work to this special issue, as this will be a developmental and inclusive process. Submissions by individuals directly impacted, which we define as those currently or formerly incarcerated, those who were previously confined in a jail, prison, or detention camp, those with arrests and/or convictions but no incarceration, and those with only a juvenile record – will be prioritized. We are open to multiple modalities, including but not limited to, empirical research, scholarly work, poetry, scholarly personal narratives, essays, briefs, autoethnography, participant action research, and more.

Abstract/Application of Interest Submission Requirements: Please email a word document with the following information to

For incarcerated students, please mail submissions to 1501 K St. Suite 200, Washington D.C. 20005, addressed to Satra Taylor.  


  1. Name(s) of Authors: Please include preferred pronouns.
  2. Bio(s): Each author should submit a bio no longer than 50 words
  3. Abstract: Please submit a brief statement describing your intended publication and respond to the following question – what are you proposing to submit and how does it connect to the theme? If written, no more than 500 words.
  4. In hopes of having a well-balanced and diverse pool of authors, please include the following background information:
    • How do you identify racially/ethnically?
    • Do you identify as a person directly impacted, which we define as those currently or formerly incarcerated, those who were previously confined in a jail, prison, or detention camp, those with arrests and/or convictions but no incarceration, and those with only a juvenile record?
    • Do you identify as an activist, scholar, student, or other? Please be specific.

Final Submission Requirements:

If selected to be a part of the special issue, the following are the requirements for the final pieces:

  • The final paper should be 5-10 pages in length, including references in APA 7th
  • More details will be shared with selected authors.


  • March 2021: Call for Proposals
  • April 22, 2021: Author’s Abstract/Application of Interest Due, submit via email
  • June 17, 2021: Notification of Acceptance into the Special Issue
  • September 27, 2021: First Draft Manuscript Due, submit via email
  • February 11, 2022: Second Draft Manuscript Due, submit via email
  • April 12, 2022:  Final Manuscript Due, submit via email
  • Spring 2022: Publication Date




We welcome substantive inquiries regarding the Special Issue to provide insights that may be useful in developing your submission via email.


Satra D. Taylor, M.A.

Michelle Jones

Kayla C. Elliott, Ph.D.

Bahiyyah Muhammad, Ph.D.

Erin Corbett, Ed.D.


Special Issue Editors:  

Satra D. Taylor, M.A. (she/her/hers) is a manager for higher education justice initiatives at the Education Trust, where she manages the Justice Fellows Policy Program and works on federal, state, and institutional policy issues at the intersection of higher education and the criminal legal system. In this role, she leads an ambitious, innovative effort to advance an equity agenda at the federal-, state-, and institutional-level for students of color by collaborating with key stakeholders – including policymakers, coalition partners, researchers, and advocates – to identify and develop policy opportunities in response to opportunity gaps in higher education.

Michelle Daniel (Jones) is a fourth-year doctoral student in the American Studies program at New York University. While incarcerated, she presented legislative testimony on a reentry alternative she created that was approved by the Indiana State Interim Committee on the Criminal Code. As a subject matter expert, she serves in the development and operation of taskforces, think tanks, and initiatives to reduce harm and end mass incarceration and has joined the boards of Worth Rises and Correctional Association of New York and advisory boards of the Urban Institute and A Touch of Light. She is a founding member and board president of Constructing Our Future, a reentry and housing organization for women created by incarcerated women in Indiana and a 2017-18 Beyond the Bars fellow, a 2017-18 Research Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, and a 2018-19 Ford Foundation Bearing Witness Fellow with Art for Justice, 2019 SOZE Right of Return Fellow, 2019 Code for America Fellow and 2019-2020 Mural Arts Fellow.

Kayla C. Elliott, Ph.D. is interim director of higher education policy at The Education Trust where she leads the team and agenda on promoting access, accountability, and affordability for students of color and low-income students. Prior to Ed Trust, Dr. Elliott worked as a research assistant at Florida Atlantic University, where much of her work examined the influence of performance-based funding systems on HBCUs and racial equity. Kayla previously taught courses on leadership and student success at the collegiate level. She holds a master’s degree from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and has worked with a range of education organizations, including Lumina Foundation, the Southern Education Foundation, and Teach For America. A proud HBCU alumna and advocate, Kayla earned a B.S. in business administration from Fisk University, where her experience as a student representative on the university’s board of trustees piqued her interest in higher education advocacy.

Bahiyyah Muhammad, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology at Howard University. She is also founding director for Howard University’s (HU) Higher Education in Prison (HEP) Programming – Co-PI, Mellon Just Futures Initiative for the HU Social Justice Consortium project. She is an expert on mass incarceration and the collateral consequences on families, specifically focused on resilience among children of incarcerated parents. Dr. Muhammad is co-founder of Project Iron Kids, an initiative to educate and empower children of incarcerated parents. She holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, an MA in Corrections Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a BA in Administration of Justice and a Criminology Certificate from Rutgers University.

Erin Corbett, Ed.D. has spent nearly two decades in education access. Most recently, Erin was the assistant director for Applied Research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, focusing on federal policy related to the intersection of higher education policy and policy related to educational access for justice-impacted people; additionally, she was the Director of Policy at the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice before transitioning to working with SCEA full time and consulting. In addition, Dr. Corbett collaborates with Dr. Bahiyyah Muhammad and Dr. Breea Willingham on Jamii Sisterhood LLC. The mission of Jamii is to provide a safe space and professional community for, and that actively centers, Black women working in and around the carceral space. Dr. Corbett holds a BA in Psychology and Education from Swarthmore College. She earned her MBA from Post University, and her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation examined the relationship between educational attainment level and post-release employment outcomes for formerly incarcerated people in the state of Connecticut.




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