Vanderbilt Prison Project

November News

Our Purpose

We are a service-based organization founded in 1972 that is committed to its purpose of inspiring and educating both the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities to collectively work towards an improvement in the current state of criminal justice system and all those affected by it either directly or indirectly including at-risk youth, inmates, those that have recently been released, and those affected by the incarceration of loved ones.

Upcoming Service Opportunites

Dismas House

Come serve dinner to returning citizens at the Dismas House! Sign up on Anchorlink ("Forms" tab).

We will be serving on the following dates:

  • Thursday, November 7th
  • Thursday, November 14th
  • Wednesday, November 20th

There is a limit on volunteers for each trip, so it's first come, first serve. Please understand that if you sign up, you commit to volunteering on that day unless unforeseen issues arise!

The Next Door: Reading Buddies

The Next Door provides a continuum of evidence-based services for women and their families impacted by addiction, mental illness, trauma and/or incarceration with Christ-centered compassionate care. This organization offers a program called Reading Buddies in which volunteers teach reading comprehension skills to the children (ages 3-13) who belong to these women. We are tremendously enthused to begin a partnership!

Our first Reading Buddies volunteer opportunity will take place on Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6-7PM. Sign up on Anchorlink ("Forms" tab) if you are interested! REMEMBER, you are only eligible to participate if you have been to a Reading Buddies Training AND completed the forms. Please email Jordaan McGill or Dacia Green if you still need to attend a training session.

Gideon's Army

At our last general body meeting, we were honored to have Rasheedat Fetuga, founder of Gideon's Army, come to present her organization and its initiatives. Gideon's Army has a mission to, among other things, eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline and teach Nashville's youth benevolent alternatives to violence and delinquency.

If you did not attend the meeting and are interested in volunteering with any of the Gideon's Army opportunities (i.e. social media, organizing church leaders, training in restorative justice) or want more info, email Jordaan McGill.

Prison Visitations

VPP, in accordance with our month's theme of "Private vs. Public Prisons," is making arrangements for members to visit Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.

The visit to Riverbend has been scheduled for Monday, November 18 @ 6:30 PM. Only 6 persons are permitted to come! This means you must act quickly! Please email Jordaan McGill ASAP to express your interest, and names will be chosen at random.


"Can You Speak the Language??" Prison Slang Taboo Game

When: Monday, November 11 @ 8PM

Where: Black Cultural Center

What: An interactive game of Taboo like you've never played before! Attendees will square off attempting to guess as many words/phrases as they can. Be careful not to utter those forbidden words! Once the word is correctly guessed, points will be recorded, and we will explain how the word is used in regards to prison slang. The winning team will receive a prize, so study up! FOOD will be served!!!

"Her Time in a Women's Prison"

When: Wednesday, November 6 @ 7:30PM

Where: Calhoun 218

What: VPP is cosponsoring a panel-style discussion concerning women who know first-hand the ordeals of injustice. The discussants will enlighten us about their experiences, but OUR service does not cease! All attendees are asked to bring one or more of the following items:

Toilet Paper

  • Paper Towels
  • Individual Packages of Tissue
  • Paper Plates
  • Paper Cups
  • Napkins
  • One Subject, Spiral Bound Notebooks
  • Full Size Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Full-size toothpaste/toothbrush/dental floss
  • Two Bars of Full Size Soap
  • Two Razors
  • Full Size Lotion
  • Full Size Deodorant
  • Ten tampons and ten sanitary pads in a cosmetic bag
  • Set of towels: one large bath towel, one hand towel and one wash cloth
  • Bible
  • Encouraging Note
  • Reusable Grocery Tote
  • Small Plastic Laundry Basket
  • Giftcards
  • All items are packed in a reusable grocery tote and placed in a small plastic laundry basket
  • NOTE: Absolutely No Mouthwash Allowed

  • Education is the facilitator for social change!

  • Leadership Position: Publicity Chair

    VPP is still looking for a publicity chair! If you are interested, please fill out the application (on Anchorlink, Documents tab) and email the completed form to Jordaan ASAP. If you have any questions, contact Erica Johnson.