Thank you for your interest in the Education Justice Project’s Writing and Math Partners (WAMP) program!
Writing and Math Partners provide EJP students with academic support for credited coursework, writing, and extra-curricular learning. We operate out of two community library rooms and a computer lab at Danville Correctional Center, replicating the structure and energy of office hours or study hall. Attendance for WAMP sessions generally ranges from 15 to 40 students, all working on various forms of scholarship – completing assignments, reading for classes, conducting independent research, collaborating on group projects, listening to and editing audio presentations, completing math and computer programming exercises, attending writing consultations, and discussing academic topics. WAMP members typically provide writing and math support, hence the name, but we hope that WAMP members are passionate and curious about the diverse subjects that EJP students are studying and are able to lend lateral support and foster peer-learning in WAMP spaces. A successful WAMP member is one who is not only able to tutor and teach, but also able to learn in collaboration with others and contribute to interdisciplinary study.
WAMP sessions are currently held twice weekly. In the past, typical time slots have been Monday and Friday 5:00 pm–8:00 pm. Members generally carpool together, and it is a 45-minute drive from Urbana. We ask WAMP members to commit to a minimum of 7 sessions each semester (about twice a month). Please give serious thought as to whether your schedule will allow for this commitment.
Writing and Math Partners come from diverse University of Illinois campus departments, from other campuses, and from the larger community. What we share is a seriousness of purpose about the task of providing higher education to incarcerated students and assisting them in their academic endeavors. Right now, Writing and Math Partners who are presently students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are required to already have at least a Bachelor’s degree. If you are presently an undergraduate student, we encourage you to apply to EJP’s intern program!
Our main criteria in selecting WAMP members are seriousness of purpose, flexibility, and maturity. Minimum requirements for WAMP members are:
● passing the background security check and IDOC (Illinois Dept of Corrections) security clearance requirements.
● a schedule that allows enough time to staff WAMP twice a month. This includes attending a training session and occasional meetings. Optional but highly encouraged are the EJP Convocation and various community-wide events on the Urbana campus.
● a commitment to social justice.
All applications are welcome. However, because EJP aims to create a supportive learning environment for our incarcerated students, we especially encourage applications from individuals whose backgrounds align with those of our students. This includes members of racial minority groups, first-generation degree holders, and individuals from low socioeconomic status backgrounds. Please note that the educational offices are on the second floor of the prison and that there is no elevator. According to Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) policy, if you are formerly incarcerated within Illinois or are actively visiting a friend or family who is incarcerated in IDOC, it is unlikely you will be able to receive IDOC clearance. Unfortunately, this is beyond our control.
Finally, applicants should be aware that EJP approaches this work from a prison-abolitionist ethic, which informs the pedagogical and organizational values that structure EJP, as well as WAMP. Regardless, we invite applicants who have varied perspectives on the prison system and the role of education and hope that this work will challenge and inspire you, and that your contributions will refine and develop EJP.
Please apply to WAMP by completing the form below.
Please contact the WAMP co-coordinators at email@example.com if you have any questions about WAMP. The deadline for submitting your application is Oct 2, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.
Education Justice Project
University of Illinois
1001 S. Wright St
Champaign, IL 61820