Overview of Bard New Orleans Exchange
The Bard New Orleans Exchange (BNOE) is one of the longest running TLS projects at Bard. Since 2005, students have been going down to NOLA for 5 weeks in the summer and 3 weeks each winter to work for various causes.
In its birth, the project focused on the rebuilding of schools and running summer programs for students. Recently, the program has taken a turn to focus on criminal justice reform in the most incarcerated city in the U.S. (and the world); Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, and New Orleans more specifically has the highest rate within the state.
While in New Orleans, students intern for a criminal justice reform organization called Voice of the Experienced (commonly known as VOTE www.vote-nola.org). VOTE is an organization run by and for formerly incarcerated people. VOTE works to create and push large scale criminal justice reform policy for the city of New Orleans, but also the state of Louisiana and the entire country more broadly.
While on campus, BNOE members and allies facilitate anti-mass incarceration and general criminal justice reform action from which Bard students can learn and participate in such as informative panels and fundraising initiatives.
Club Officers Madeline Firkser