Ebon Dooley Honoree

Reforming Arts

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2019 Social Justice Champion


Social  Justice Champion: Reforming Arts their organizational mission is to  offer a liberal arts higher education to people incarcerated in women’s  prisons in Georgia to serve as a foundation for building purposeful,  meaningful lives.  Evidence based studies show that education reduces  recidivism and helps returning citizens become productive. Reforming  Arts works with volunteer instructors at local colleges and universities  to provide diverse, multi-dimensional curriculum at Lee Arrendale State  Prison.  A sense of community and expanded possibilities develop  through intense dialogue and self-exploration. Through reflection,  critical analysis, and a deeper understanding of the systems at work in  their lives, the students gain a greater insight on how to think  critically about their past and imagine their future.

Wende Ballew

Executive Director- Reforming Arts

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Wende  has a BA in Theatre, an MBA, an MA in American Studies, a graduate  certificate in Women's Studies, and is a PhD candidate in Qualitative  Research and Evaluation Methodologies at UGA. They has extensive  experience as a freelance theatre professional,  arts manager, and  educator. As a theatre professional she has worked for Georgia Ensemble  Theatre, Aurora Theatre, the Neighborhood Playhouse, and the Atlanta  Arts Festival. As an arts manager, Wende worked for the University of  West Georgia and Cobb County. Wende has taught at Kennesaw State  University and continues to teach and direct Reforming Arts classes  inside women's prison facilities in Georgia and facilitate their Theatre  Reentry Project.

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