17 Burst results for "Sebastian Yun"

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

06:44 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"Is fresh AIR man we're discussing the new four part PBS documentary college behind bars it's about a program in which professors of Bard College give college classes in six correctional institutions our guests are at Lynn Novick who directed a documentary and die one teacher and Sebastian Yun to graduates of the program you know what's striking about this program is that I I think a lot of people who think about ways that prisons can help incarcerated people people get jobs when they get out of prison is to provide vocational training you know teach people to be welders or auto mechanics or you know stuff like that I'm interested interested in your perspective on this because I'm just I mention that in a maximum pictures security facility there a lot of folks who didn't have kind of the educational kind of foundation to do college work the way you did or maybe I'm wrong about that I'm interested in your take on this weather vocational programs should be there do they have a place as opposed to you know this really rigorous academic program yeah I I think that we want to have as many opportunities open to people in prison as possible however I think that we also the realize that we live in a country and we have an economy with the type of work that vocational training use to give you no longer exists factory jobs are disappearing in this country year after year the type of things that are built to people in prison currently are somewhat outdated we need repairing people in prison for the twenty first century and I think there's no better way to do that and giving them a liberal arts education at I just add that when the really remarkable things about this program is that the admissions process is looking for people who have kind of intellectual curiosity and determination and you can learn grammar you can learn the math skills you need pretty quickly if you're motivated and you see people of this kind of like exponential learning curve from places where on the you know might not seem at first glance there ready for college work when I quote and within you know a month they're doing college level reading and writing so it's just it's it's really I have an open question if this this kind of opportunity were widely available and that sort of foundational skills made possible a lot more people to take advantage of it but to those who would ask that question Dave you could also ask them would you ask the same question of students who were out here as you'll see in the film there's tremendous potential among incarcerated people and what this education does is the untapped potential it teaches you how smart you are and with time as we become scholars the idea that we should be limited to just vocational training this becomes absurd vocational training is fine but we should also be having an opportunity for higher education in you know I'll just add that we have and we have done screenings in prisons from California to Massachusetts and when people and then Kerr serrated context see this film the first thing is is like I want that opportunity I want that education so when we start talking about what is best for people in prisons Lynn said we should include them in that conversation we should not expect that they are only capable of vocational training because when people ask that question or the questions being asked that usually the implicit assumption that they are only capable of this level of education in with the film shows in the work at the kiosk shows is that that cannot be more on true you know getting a liberal arts education is this it is a lot of work and it expands one's horizons and a whole lot of ways and then just wonder if you could just reflect a bit on how it might have changed you dot one having a liberal arts education this made me a much deeper thinker the walls receiving that education as I said it was liberating so you know the in the Greek liberal arts education literally means education worthy of a free man and the paradox here is that I was someone getting that type of education walls in person but the education itself is what liberated me it gave me the ability to put names to systems and things that have impacted my life and it helped me understand my place in the world and activated me as a specifically minded person and it has had a profound impact on my personality and just the way that I moved to the world today Sebastian you from a liberal arts education cultivated in me a conceptual an intellectual openness that invited me to consider worlds outside of my world from different times start in space and I think it bread for me empathy which is something that I didn't have a lot of when I was a teenager I always thought that my logic and my feelings from others no pun intended and you know just being in a classroom setting where I was sitting down with people from different backgrounds listening to their stories and their ideas and you start to appreciate that despite the differences that we have there's so much more similarities among us and as I move forward in life and as I work to be a part of the social justice reform movement I feel very passionate about in an excited that we are going to make progress Lynn Novick congratulations on the documentary Sebastian you and I wanted to congradulations on your degree so wish you continued success thank you so much for speaking with us thank you for having us thank you to privilege the best in noon and I won T. true earned bachelor's degrees from the bard prison initiative they appear in the PBS documentary college behind bars directed by Lynn Novick they spoke with fresh tears Dave Davies college behind bars airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations and will be available for streaming.

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

02:11 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"Get a motion on the they are like congratulations good job and then they're like strip and then you know you approach in the search area you're in this liminal place and you know they like stress in a rush you right back into prison in rows remember no not a whole lot I'm a college student your normal brother I'm an uncle on the sun but that's why in this is not me this is not my identity I'm not going to wear you know I'm not taking it back myself going to sleep with that's what I want Taito and Sebastian Yun from the PBS documentary college behind bars which premieres tonight on PBS also with us is the director of the documentary Lynn Novick Sebastian you how long after your graduation did you have to Sir before you released are two more years after my bachelor's degree in two thousand seventeen what was that have what was that time like for you I never stopped being a student even after you graduate on as long as you are in a prison in which part prison initiative operates you're allowed to take courses and was incredible is that you can also serve as tutors so you're constantly working with other students who are trying to obtain their associate's degrees or bachelor's and if people stayed in touch with folks you know from the program and help people you helped I would say that all my friends right now or my peers from the B. P. I. program and our network is really growing when they come home now I'll be off to help each other get jobs that's how I got my job at open society foundations and we're just a really is type court and we see each other as family because we've been to the same struggles it was not the same education we're talking about the new PBS documentary college behind bars with Lynn Novick who directed the series and also with us our Sebastian Yun and die one Teatro two formerly incarcerated graduates of the bard prison initiative that both are in college degrees and are now employed we will continue our conversation after the short break this is fresh AIR.

Taito director Lynn Novick Sebastian Yun
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

02:25 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"How far I'm sorry for having this on our family for calling your through such on this earth the number of well some of them thank you the graduation ceremony of the bird is an initiative Sebastian you own your father was in the audience right we see him gently yes it was yeah I guess you still treasure that monitor greatest moment of my life die one trader what was what was your graduation experience like so I actually graduated with might be a after I was released from prison okay and so I will got to walk across the stage on bart and Intel campus with the other four hundred students in one year in two thousand and eighteen and you know one of the this greatest moments there is that when the BPI students were getting up to walk the states the president of the college Leon boxing inside you know he said these are some of our most distinguishing greatest students and the whole student body stood and gave us of resounding round of applause this is a really really moving moment to be celebrated while on the main part campus in that way by all these amazing young people that's that's really remarkable well you know for for a number of the graduates in this is true Sebastian not die one there was this there's this terrible paradox where in the fact that you are completing your college degree and graduating doesn't mean that you are released from prison it's two different systems right and this is a moment from the film after the graduation ceremony which we just saw where I guess Sebastian you got your degree and I won you were attending but you're reflecting on what it's like to finish this joyous event and then leave the prison auditorium and then return to the housing unit were you will be rudely searched and then go back to your cells so let's just listen to this this what we will hear Sebastian Yun first and then we'll hear I wanted to does this moment where you walk past this store and always use curtains and officers waiting.

bart president Sebastian Yun Intel BPI one year
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

05:17 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"This is fresh air I'm Terry gross let's get back to the interview fresh shares Dave Davies recorded with Lynn Novick director of the new PBS documentary college behind bars and Sebastian noon and I want Pedro to graduates of the bard prison initiative unit Teatro earn college degrees taking rigorous car courses taught by Bard College faculty in a maximum security prison college behind bars airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations there was a time when higher education in correctional facilities was pretty common and then this changed in the nineties when we had the crime bill right yes indeed and before the nineteen ninety four seven crime bill there were college programs in almost every correctional facility in America and the Avengers for over a generation and it was well understood and accepted that education was a central part of criminal justice and of rehabilitation and in the context of the nineties and tough on crime rhetoric and the super predator kind of you know demonization of people who have have been convicted of crimes as part of the patent crime bill there was an amendment to withdraw eligibility for Pell grants for people who are in prison and that's L. program just be based on economic need so once that happened almost all those programs vanished went from about eight hundred programs to fewer than ten and there was a tremendous void recidivism rates skyrocketed for a variety of reasons including this and slowly some privately funded program started to come back again and the bard presentation of which was began in nineteen ninety nine Max Kellerman started it was an undergraduate at bard and just for saw this need and and you know convince the college that would be something that they should try to do and so it's a pioneering program not innovative in the sense that there had been higher education and present before but unusual in the sense that very few institutions were joined us at that time part of the crime bill Dave was comprised on allocating ten billion dollars to build more prisons and ten billion dollars at the time was enough to pay for higher education in prisons for more than two hundred years by the way you know the recent research shows that for every dollar state investing college in prison it saves four to five dollars and re incarceration calls and I think that just about that that that the the button or the final notice that you never said it was in rates for the general population are between fifty and sixty percent that means that there's a fifty to sixty percent of the six hundred thirty thousand people to get out of prison every year are back in prison and three years and the bard prison the service at six hundred graduates be released over the last twenty years and fewer than four percent have gone back to prison you know this is tough material in these classes and anybody who watches this film will thing gosh I don't know if I could handle this stuff in one of the things that I I saw as I watch the four episodes in this reminded me of when I taught middle school and high school many many years ago was saying what happens when students are first confronted with until it seems really daunting and they have to learn to think critically and express ideas that are kind of uncomfortable in that over time you see them they're they're you know they're thinking and expression become sharper and more sophisticated and you can just see it you can just see this intellectual blossoming yeah and I'm wondering I'm asking Sebastian did you feel yourself changing as you move through these questions yeah without a doubt in the beginning you don't even know how to use a comma and the next year you you realize that you're writing ten page papers with correct grammar and throughout this process we're constantly talking with each other helping each other out because unlike the outside here you have the internet our peers become the internet they become the support system that we need to rely on the school also has graduation Sir what he's in this is very moving I mean there's it's it's in the prison auditorium right with you know caps and gowns and photos and parents in the audience and I want to play a clip here this is when you Sebastian Yun are speaking at the graduation and there's I'll just let the the listeners are there there's an emotional moment here where you start to speak of your family and you have to stop and compose yourself and then you address your father directly let's listen my fellow graduates my friends let me remind you that we have an obligation to share our stories and hold the idea that if we wish to have a better world as we all do then we must first change ourselves our story is our lives they are influenced by a great number of people for me my family has been how far I'm sorry for having this on our family for calling your through such on.

Dave Davies director Terry gross Lynn Novick ten billion dollars sixty percent two hundred years five dollars four percent twenty years three years
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

08:56 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"Fresh AIR man we're discussing the new four part PBS documentary college behind bars it's about a program in which professors of Bard College give college classes in six correctional institutions our guests are at Lynn Novick who directed a documentary and die one takes and Sebastian Yun to graduates of the program college behind bars airs on PBS stations tonight and tomorrow you know it's interesting when I look at the scenes of of the classroom in the documentary it's a four part documentary and there are a lot of scenes these classes are a lot more orderly and focused then I remember any of my college or high school classes being people were invested in this really all like that man yeah pretty much I mean I think you know having taught the program myself out you walk into class and the students are there and they're ready and they're prepared and they've done all the reading and there for the footnotes and they read the ancillary reading and they are you know you better know what you're doing and they really love to engage the professors and each other and that was true for every single class I never saw a class for people weren't paying attention not one and we are in a lot of classes yeah it was initially one of the bard professor said you know I don't have all these multi media tools that you do in a big institution but when you're in a class where everybody's done the reading you don't need a mismatch yeah the faculty generally find this experience so energizing because of that exact thing that they have to sort of if if you can of course on the bard campus and in BPI they actually have to make the D. V. I. version of it harder get more sign mints and you know after reading because the students are just so here for the material and expect so much adult learners are in a much more mature and have life experience so I know when I was in college and I was reading Greek tragedy or Shakespeare or you know classic tax it was just an assignment to me I had to understand the idea of hubris I have to understand the I idea of tragedy your stand these concepts but I had no life experience to bring to that you know I want to talk to you Sebastian Yun and die one take to a bit about your lives and you both entered prison as teenagers right and this is not obviously the happiest part of your life but and you can say as much as you want about it but I think the audience would be interested in knowing a bit about what your life was life coming up and what were the circumstances that that landed you in this prison die one you want to share something sure you know I am originally from Albany New York I grew up in a single parent household the child of a disabled mother my father was was in Vietnam came home drug addicted is never really recovered from that one was a very precocious child however I would go to school and just school I could never reconcile it with the reality of my everyday life at home in so I felt very isolated and disengaged there skip school very very often and it was often a joke that I would show up at school and get all these awards and they would say that you were never here and school was just really to be easy you know I would go in and do all the work in a day or two and expectations were really really low as in a poor disadvantaged community and I ended up at a very young age and gangs and I went to prison for twelve years at the age of nineteen twenty four assault and I never had really thought about going to college in till also there's this thing that I heard about prison called the bard prison initiative in that totally allowed me to re imagine myself and I said that's what I'm going to do and I was in a different facility at that time easier said than done it took me six years to get from where I was to wear part was and I got there and I took the entrance exam instead of my cell and waited for the substance letter in that moment when that letter came forever altered the trajectory of my life and then the crime that that got to him was that you you shot someone in retaliation for an attack on you and your sister yes Sebastian unit tell us a little about yourself yeah so I grew up in flushing queens my mother left me went out me and my savings when I was five so my dad raised us three my older brother and my sister by himself he worked eleven hour shifts so he was mostly at work and I think I was only I was I was alone in Canada and that the age of ten my family was my dad made enough money we moved to Long Island and there are in the school I had my first experience with racism and discrimination because I was one of a handful of Asian students and I was bullied a lot and I've I started to respond with violence because I thought I had no other option and then I saw that it worked when kids stop bothering me I guess I started feeling this false sense of empowerment and then I biked I came to crave it more and more I just want to acknowledgement on the spot feeling of power and security so I started hanging out in the streets and you know how to crew of boys that always hung out with and one day we went to a karaoke bar and a fight erupted and to somebody ended up losing his life so I was charged at the age of sixteen for manslaughter in the first degree and I was sentenced to fifteen years and then upon entering prison I felt the same all their nest I felt while I was in middle and high school right if you wish you are Korean American right yes click on yes and your dad went through some really tough times sub set you to to create when you were little because he was trying trying to find a way to keep keep things together you know it's interesting Lenovo I mean I I think there are a lot of powerful stories in these documentaries of these students most had circumstances early in their life which were really really tough heart breaking in many cases I don't think I heard anybody use that as an excuse for for committing crimes that you know Sir I went out into the project we're focusing on that transformational aspect of it power of education and what did it mean to get this education long prison but as we got to know the students we began to understand the circumstances of their lives which as you say were complicated sometimes tragic often involved exposure to violence and other tragic experiences and you know we came to feel that it was important for them to and they also felt was important for them to explain themselves how they see themselves where they can where they are through the lens of the education they've been getting and the perspectives that have shifted over time and so the film ends up and their stories and up you know raising some really important questions about violence and about harm and incarceration and what is present for and what is that I have education all these things are intersecting overlapping and you know what we hope is that through these they're very courageous and generous sharing of their stories we can all have a different kind of conversation we have had about who is in prison white people are incarcerated what our criminal justice system doesn't doesn't do too it's supposed to be helping people to prepare to come back to society and become productive citizens we you know without quite realizing at the beginning have ended up exploring this really easy question and I will say that's when we started the project sometimes people say to us so most people in prison will say that they're innocent and they didn't do the crime that they're there for that was not our experience at all everyone that we got to know well took full responsibility for what happened and explained the context in which it happened and how they are reckoning of that today Lynn Novick speaking with Dave Davies Novick directed the four part documentary college behind bars which airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations that one takes row and Sebastian noon are graduates of the bard prison initiative after a break let's talk about getting their degrees leaving prison and rejoining their families and how they think a liberal arts education.

Bard College fifteen years twelve years eleven hour six years one day
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

06:44 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"This is fresh AIR man we're discussing the new four part PBS documentary college behind bars it's about a program in which professors of Bard College give college classes in six correctional institutions our guests are at Lynn Novick who directed a documentary and die one takes and Sebastian Yun to graduates of the program you know what's striking about this program is that I I think a lot of people who think about ways that prisons can help incarcerated people people get jobs when they get out of prison is to provide vocational training you know teach people to be welders or auto mechanics or you know stuff like that well I'm I'm just interested in your perspective on this because I'm just I mention that in a maximum pictures security facility there a lot of folks who didn't have kind of the educational kind of foundation to do college work the way you did or maybe I'm wrong about that I'm interested in your take on this weather vocational programs should be there do they have a place as opposed to you know this really rigorous academic program you know I I think that we want to have as many opportunities open to people in prison as possible however I think that we also have to realize that we live in a country and we have an economy with the type of work that vocational training used to give you no longer exists factory jobs are disappearing in this country year after year the type of things that are built to people in prison currently are somewhat outdated we need repairing people in prison for the twenty first century and I think there's no better way to do that and giving them a liberal arts education at I just add that when they really remarkable things about this program is that the admissions process is looking for people who have kind of intellectual curiosity and determination and you can learn grammar you can learn the math skills you need pretty quickly if you're motivated I mean you see people on this kind of like exponential learning curve from places where on the email might not seem at first glance there ready for college work quote unquote and within you know a month they're doing college level reading and writing as so it's just it's it's really an open question if this this kind of opportunity were widely available and that sort of foundational skills made possible a lot more people to take advantage of it but to those who would ask that question Dave you could also ask them would you ask the same question of students who were out here as you'll see in the film there's tremendous potential among incarcerated people and what this education does is the untapped potential it teaches you how smart you are and with time as we become scholars the idea that we should be limited to just vocational training this becomes absurd vocational training is fine but we should also be having an opportunity for higher education in you know I'll just sad that we have and we have done screenings in prisons from California to Massachusetts and when people and then Kerr serrated contacts see this film the first thing is is like I want that opportunity I want that education so when we start talking about what is best for people in prisons Lynn said we should include them in that conversation we should not expect that they are only capable of vocational training because when people ask that question or the questions being asked that usually the implicit assumption that they are only capable of this level of education and what the film shows in the work of god shows is that that cannot be more on true you know getting a liberal arts education is it is a lot of work and it expands one's horizons and a whole lot of ways and I'm just one of you could just reflect a bit on how it might have changed you that one having a liberal arts education is made me a much deeper thinker but while I was receiving that education as I said it was liberating so you know the in the Greek liberal arts education literally means education worthy of a free man and the paradox here is that I was someone getting that type of education walls in person but that's a case in itself is what liberated me it gave me the ability to put names to systems and things that impacted my life in IT help me understand my place in the world and activated me as a specifically minded person and it has had a profound impact on my personality and just the way that I move through the world today Sebastian you from a liberal arts education cultivated in may a conceptual an intellectual openness that invited me to consider worlds outside of my world from different times dawn in space and I think it bread for me empathy which is something that I didn't have a lot of when I was a teenager I always thought that my logic and my feelings from others no pun intended and that you know just being in a classroom setting where I was sitting down with people from different backgrounds listening to their stories and their ideas and you start to appreciate that despite the differences that we have they are so much more similarities among us and as I move forward in life and as I work to be a part of the social justice reform movement I feel very passionate about in an excited that we are going to make progress Lynn Novick congratulations on the documentary Sebastian you and I wanted to congradulations on your degree so wish you continued success thank you so much for speaking with us thank of robin's thank you to privilege the best in noon and I won T. true earned bachelor's degrees from the bard prison initiative they appear in the PBS documentary college behind bars directed by Lynn Novick they spoke with fresh tears Dave Davies college behind bars airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations and will be available for streaming.

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

06:44 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"For public broadcasting this is fresh air and we're discussing the new four part PBS documentary college behind bars it's about a program in which professors of Bard College give college classes in six correctional institutions our guests are Lynn Novick who directed the documentary and die one tape pro and Sebastian unit to graduates of the program college behind bars airs on PBS stations tonight and tomorrow both of you when into prison as teenagers and came out as young men eventually after after the euphoria of graduation them you certainly you can't you know you had this terrific asset this college degree that a lot of ex offenders down but I'm wondering was there a point at which it just seemed hard to adjust this could you talk a just a little bit about the process you know when the great things about you know barges that it's recognize that it's not enough just to you know kind of issue degree give someone an education send them back out into society so you know bart has some re entry services mainly job placement career development so I walked out of prison on August tenth two thousand seventeen and I was back in college on August twenty fourth finishing might be a so there was kind of seamless movement from one setting to another and that's not to say that it's not challenging but that is to point to the fact that if we support people transaction in back in society in the right way they be capable of almost anything you know I finished my degree in the spring of twenty eighteen I went on to work for congressman Sean Patrick Maloney on as Attorney General campaign here in New York I'm a math major went on after that to do some project management management and data collection for attack company and then started thinking about how I could get back in the world and back at the P. I. today as the government affairs officer expanding helping to expand access to college imprisoned through public investments in the work that we do and Sebastian you tell us a little bit about your transaction so I believe that in a degree is just a piece of paper and I think there's too much significance tightened agreement what I prices the education and the knowledge that I received in the process of obtaining that degree but in reality out here the degrees matter I think that realization came to me when I sat down and began writing my first cover letter my first resume I realized that all my experiences and my skills were related to prison work I had to write that I swept and mopped floors I worked as a cook and I wondered I couldn't help but wonder when I went when I submitted this application what do you see this and give me a chance for an interview had I not been able to write that I received a barge bachelor's degree and I think the answer is no but I needed that degree in order to get my first interview and then I didn't I went to for more interviews after that where I was able to prove myself to speech I had to show my passion I was I had to show them that I was smart enough to be part of this group tell us a little bit about the work you're doing so currently I work as a program specialist with the democracy fund of open society foundations which is one of the biggest philanthropic organizations in the world part of our job is to provide the clans and support to other organizations and individuals who are working towards social justice reform you know I like this Sebastian and I want to hear a little bit about how reconciling with your families I mean both from the from the th the documentary it seems that both you had supportive families mean die when I think you had a brother who had been a younger brother who struggle and had been incarcerated at some point but die one what's it what's it been like connecting with your family again you know this I am the first person in my family was ever going to college I have two brothers one older one younger they have both been to prison I have watched them leave prison and have to struggle in ways that I have not because I have had the privilege of a college education in so you know this experience has not only been personally rewarding it amazing for me it radiates in ramified throughout my entire family structure you know it add stability my family took care of me for twelve years while I was in prison and now I'm in a position in life where I can support and be there for them I can give them different types of advice in so you know I think we always need to consider that we're not talking about people in prison getting a degree in isolation you know the vast majority of people in this country that are incarcerated are going to be returning to society we always have to be mindful of how those people like myself are returning back to their communities and back to their families my family loves Bard College they love the bard prison initiative they love this film and it's just really really has been so emotional for me to see their reactions and have their support through all this and be able to share so much positivity with them after having gone through so much darkness in life suggestion you what about connect with your family my family has been super supportive of me as you'll see in the documentary especially my father my father never saw me as a bad person I don't see myself as a person I believe that we haven't committed a crime doesn't make me a bad person I just committed a bad act and I think what supplies my father the most was just how much I I transformed while I was incarcerated you know he likes to tell me you know many people when they get pushed down to their hands and knees the easiest thing for them to do is just lay down and he said he says to me you stood up you're looking ahead you've got his education and you're trying to help people now and I am the most powerful in the world we're talking about the new PBS documentary college behind bars with Lynn Novick the director and with Sebastian Yun and die one Teatro two formerly incarcerated graduates of the bard prison initiative they were in college degrees and are now employed we will continue our conversation after a short break this is fresh AIR.

twelve years
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

02:14 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"Done I would get emotional they are like congratulations good job and then they're like strip and then you know you approach in the search area you're in this liminal place and you know they like stripped and they trust you right back in the prison a rose remember not a whole lot I'm a college student you know if you know I'm a brother I'm an uncle on the sun like that's why in this is not me this is not my identity I'm not going to wear you know I'm not taking it back myself I'm going to sleep with and that's what I want to draw and Sebastian Yun from the PBS documentary college behind bars which premieres tonight on PBS also with us is the director of the documentary Lenovo Sebastian you how long after your graduation did you have to Sir before you released are two more years after my bachelor's degree in two thousand seventeen what was that have what was that time like for you I never some innocent even after you graduate all as long as you are in a prison in which part prison initiative operates you're allowed to take courses and was incredible is that you can also serve as tutors so you're constantly working with other students who are trying to obtain their associate's degrees or bachelor's we've all stayed in touch with folks you know from the program and help people you helped I would say that all my friends right now or my peers from the B. P. R. program and our network is really growing when you come home now I'll be off to help each other get jobs that's how I got my job at open society foundations and we're just a really is tied court and we see each other as family because we've been to the same struggles it was not the same education we're talking about the new PBS documentary college behind bars with Lynn Novick who directed the series and also with us our Sebastian Yun and die one Teatro two formerly incarcerated graduates of the bard prison initiative that both are in college degrees and are now employed we will continue our conversation after this short break this is fresh AIR.

Sebastian Yun director Lynn Novick Lenovo B. P.
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

02:21 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"Well some of them thank you from the graduation ceremony of the board is an initiative Sebastian you own your father was in the audience right we see him gently yes it was yeah I guess you still treasure that moment greatest moment of my life die one trader what was what was your graduation experience like so I actually graduated with might be a after I was released from prison okay and so I will got to walk across the stage on bart and Intel campus with the other four hundred students in one year in two thousand and eighteen and you know one of the this greatest moments there is that when the BPI students were getting up to walk the states the president of the college Leon bots dean said you know he said these are some of our most distinguished and greatest students and the whole student body stood and gave us of resounding round of applause this is a really really moving moment to be celebrated while on the main bar campus in that way by all these amazing young people that's that's really remarkable well you know for for a number of the graduates in this was true Sebastian not die one there was this there's this terrible paradox where into the fact that you are completing your college degree and graduating doesn't mean that you are released from prison it's two different systems right and this is a moment from the film after the graduation ceremony which we just saw where I guess Sebastian you got your degree and I won you were attending but you're reflecting on what it's like to finish this joyous event and then leave the prison auditorium and then returned to the housing unit were you will be rudely searched and then go back to your cells so let's just listen to this this we we will here Sebastian Yun first and then we'll hear I wanted to there's this moment where you walk past this store and always use curtains and officers waiting and like rose after graduation there were like thirty on each side of the shower green is waiting for you you have this big smile.

bart president Intel BPI Leon Sebastian Yun one year
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

05:00 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"It's the world in thirty minutes to two o'clock today a name kept coming up in the impeachment hearings Sir he Lysenko he's a journalist who covers corruption in his native Ukraine lawmakers have tried to draw him into the politics of Washington meet Sir he Lysenko coming up on the world at two on KQED public radio right after fresh air this is fresh air I'm Terry gross let's get back to the interview fresh shares Dave Davies recorded with Lynn Novick director of the new PBS documentary college behind bars and Sebastian noon and I want Pedro to graduates of the bard prison initiative unit Taito earn college degrees taking rigorous car courses taught by Bard College faculty in a maximum security prison college behind bars airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations there was a time when higher education in correctional facilities was pretty common and then this changed in the nineties when we had the crime bill right yes indeed and before the nineteen ninety four seven crime bill there were college programs in almost every correctional facility in America and the venture for over a generation and it was well understood and accepted that education was a central part of criminal justice and of rehabilitation and in the context of the nineties and the tough on crime rhetoric and the super predator kind of you know demonization of people who have have been convicted of crimes as part of the patent crime bill there was an amendment to withdraw eligibility for Pell grants for people who are in prison and that's L. programs are just be based on economic need so once that happened almost all those programs vanished went from about eight hundred programs to fewer than ten and there was a tremendous void recidivism rates skyrocketed for a variety of reasons including this and slowly some privately funded program started to come back again and the bard presence of which was began in nineteen ninety nine Max Kellerman started it was an undergraduate at bard and just for saw this need and and you know convince the college that would be something that they should try to do and so it's a pioneering program not innovative in the sense that there had been higher education and present before but unusual in the sense that very few institutions were joined us at that time part of that crime bill Dave was comprised on allocating ten billion dollars to build more prisons and ten billion dollars at the time was enough to pay for higher education in prisons for more than two hundred years by the way you know with the recent research shows that for every dollar state investing college in prison it saves four to five dollars and re incarceration calls and I think that just about that that that the the button or the final notice that you never said it was in rates for the general population are between fifty and sixty percent that means that the fifty fifty to sixty percent of the six hundred thirty thousand people to get out of prison every here are back in prison and three years and the bard prison the service at six hundred graduates be released over the last twenty years and fewer than four percent have gone back to prison you know this is tough material in these classes and anybody who watches this film with gosh I don't know if I could handle this stuff in one of the things that I I saw as I watch the four episodes in this reminded me of when I taught middle school and high school many many years ago was saying what happens when students are first confronted with until it seems really daunting and they have to learn to think critically and express ideas that are kind of uncomfortable in that over time you see them they're they're you know they're thinking and expression become sharper and more sophisticated and you can just see it you can just see this intellectual blossoming yeah and I'm wondering escape Sebastian did you feel yourself changing as you move through these courses yeah without a doubt in the beginning you don't even know how to use a comma and the next year you you realize that you're writing ten page papers with correct grammar and throughout this process we're constantly talking with each other helping each other out because unlike the outside here you have the internet our peers become the internet they become the support system that we need to rely on the school also has graduation Sir what he's in this is very moving I mean there's it's it's in the prison auditorium right with you know caps and gowns and photos and parents in the audience and I want to play a clip here this is when you Sebastian Yun are speaking at the graduation and there's I'll just let the listeners are there there's an emotional moment here where you start to speak of your family and you have to stop and compose yourself and then you address your father directly let's listen fellow graduates my friends let me remind.

ten billion dollars sixty percent two hundred years thirty minutes five dollars four percent twenty years three years
"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

13:18 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on KQED Radio

"That's from the documentary college behind bars directed by our guest Lynn Novick also with us or die one tape throat and Sebastian noon graduates of the program I'm gonna ask each of you to give me your first impressions here you know Lynn Novick I believe this project grew out of your own experience teaching of course right tell me how the experience compared with what you expected the most significant thing for me was that when Max can asked me if I would teach a course on documentary in history he said the students would love to have a film class but you have to promise if you're gonna do it this has to be extremely rigorous this can't just be watching movies and talking about it you have to have a very sophisticated demanding syllabus and assessment and writing assignments and the students have to perform at the level that we expect for Bard College otherwise you're not doing them any favors that degree really means something on any of this program with their degree from bart and so I was a little bit I'm intimidated by that just putting together the course was challenging and working with the students over the course of the eight weeks that we taught was thrilling Sebastian Yun tell us what it was like getting started in these classes when I first got into the bard prison initiative I honestly had low expectations of the program and I think that's because in general as a prisoner I have those no expectations on life and when I actually started my courses I was shocked by how rigorous and how demanding the program was I remember telling my professor died how can I completed an eight page paper if I feel like I completed in only two and she said well welcome to college and it was and it was a very interesting moment for me where where I realized that the education that I was receiving and prison was the same education that I I wouldn't see it how I want to college out there I wanted to what was it like for you you know one of the most salient moments for me in my time in BPI's my first time walking into the bard library at eastern correctional facility and I remember walking in in seeing men like me in prison uniforms except that they were speaking Mandarin they were doing advanced mathematics math without numbers on the board and I kind of froze in place and just looked around the room and just felt really really inspired you know that is not the type of thing you expect to be happening in the present so it totally enthralled me and motivated me to go after this education with George hill Lynn never gave us the basics of the program kind of how large of the classes what kind of mood what kind of courses are taught yeah so the program is twenty years old and it started small and today there are three hundred students in six facilities in New York state mostly men but there's one facility for women as well the students have a quite impressive breath of curriculum they study all the disciplines in the liberal arts and they are first eligible for an associate degree and then if they can think that they can apply to get a bachelor's degree they study math test I once said languages history literature arch a science philosophy economics public policy you know public health I mean it's a wide range of liberal arts curriculum and it's you know spending time in the classrooms as they're about senators and I did I kept thinking I wish I could go back to college and had this experience because it is the classes are small it's always a seminar style there's a lot of interaction with the students with the professor and with each other and a tremendous another thing also goes on outside the classroom you know some might thing that prison inmates would have an easier time focusing on all this rigorous school work because they literally you know captive in the institution and are not distracted by parties are dating or football games like you know students on a traditional campus are they right about that that one I think that that couldn't be further from the truth prison is not an easy place to get an education graduate case in that space can be interrupted in all types of different ways at any time of day there are bells there are two counts you have to go back to your cell you know you forgot your book you can't just go back and get your book you don't have the internet so there are a lot of things that impede your education in that space and one of the reasons that we have to focus so hard and have that the discipline that we had in this program is so that we could focus on the work and get the work done in a place where there's a lot of stress pressure and distractions yeah this business of counts I mean Sebastian you you want to explain this this is five times a day right five times a day and if you're in a class when it's time for cannot what happens well class is usually happen in between counts but the problem is that there can be written bells can bring off in prison at any time so you can be in class midway and if the bell rings because the count was off or at the there's a security problem then you have to go back to your cells it's it's too literally count to insure that every inmate is if I don't so how long does this take you gotta go back to your guest your cell right and and wait until you get the all clear sometimes it takes forty minutes sometimes it could take six hours while I'm how much noise is there and does that make it hard to read I want yeah there's extreme amount of noise in prisons you tend to have these open cell blocks and people are locked in their cells of just to have normal kind of conversation people have to literally yell back and forth in so yeah that is a huge in Peter made to try to learn one things I used to do this kind of put my headphones on with classical music and that's how I would get my reading and get my work done but one of the things that was also great there are instances where the other prisoners would accommodate us where they would say you know the bar guys are working at this table let's go over here make noise or like embargoes in the rooms in their room studying let's keep the noise down so that was like really really kind of humbling to see that type of support from the general population you know I was going to ask about relations with you know other prisoners the numbers that I remember from the documentary was that at the root eight hundred ninety or so in the institution a hundred and ten in the program which is a pretty good number but that means a lot that were probably some applied and did not get and others that have to do you know kind of routine prison jobs instead of being in class was there jealousy or resentment no you know one of the great things about being in BPI when the great things about this education have been in the educational spaces that it really really motivates people to be them best selves into go armed after this opportunity so within the prison contacts you know people know who the guys are in BPI in they come to us for advice they come to us for essay writing classes in math tutoring so that they can prepare to get into the program themselves I have several friends who are still incarcerated that I spent my summers outside of class tutoring in there now in the program so we really take the opportunity that we had seriously and try to give back in real tangible ways to the wider population I just in time and one other thing which is I've heard I want trash in the other students as well as Max say that you know it also just sort of changes the culture of the whole facility and that you know there's something positive going on and that people don't want to get in trouble so that they have an opportunity to be there to stay there and to potentially be involved in the program so it has a ripple effect even beyond people applying to just enough that facilities whether is higher education have less incidents of violence and disruption and things like that so people in corrections department recognize that as well we're talking about the new PBS documentary college behind bars with Lynn Novick the director and with Sebastian noon and die one Teatro two formerly incarcerated graduates of the bard prison initiative they were in college degrees and are now employed we will continue our conversation after a short break this is fresh AIR support for KQ we day comes from one medical primary care practice with same day appointments twenty four seven virtual care and new locations around the bay area more on membership that one medical dot com this is fresh AIR man we're discussing the new four part PBS documentary college behind bars it's about a program in which professors of Bard College give college classes in six correctional institutions our guests are at Lynn Novick who directed a documentary and die one take true and Sebastian Yun to graduates of the program college behind bars airs on PBS stations tonight and tomorrow you know it's interesting when I look at the scenes of of the classroom in the documentary it's a four part documentary and there are a lot of scenes these classes are a lot more orderly and focused then I remember any of my college or high school classes being people were invested in this really all like that ma'am yeah pretty much I mean I think you know having time the program myself out you walk into class and the students are there and they're ready and they're prepared and they've done all the reading and there for the footnotes and they read the ancillary reading and they are you know you better know what you're doing and they really love to engage the professors and each other and that was true for every single class I never saw a class where people weren't paying attention not one and we are in a lot of classes yeah it was initially one of the bard professor said you know I don't have all these multi media tools that you do in a big institution but when you're in a class where everybody's done the reading you don't need a mismatch yeah the faculty generally find this experience so energizing because of that exact thing that they have to sort of if it is in a course on the bard campus and in BPI they actually have to make the B. B. I. version of it harder get more sign mints and you know up the reading because the students are just so here for the material and expect so much adult learners are in a much more mature and have life experience so I know when I was in college I was reading Greek tragedy or Shakespeare or you know classic tax it was just an assignment to me I have to understand the idea of hubris I have to understand the idea of tragedy I understand these concepts but I had no life experience to bring to that here I want to talk to you Sebastian Yun and die one takes you a bit about your lives and you both entered prison as teenagers right and this is not obviously the happiest part of your life but and you can say as much as you want about it but I think the audience would be interested in knowing a bit about what your life was life coming up and what were the circumstances that that landed you in this prison die one you want to share something sure you know I am originally from Albany New York I grew up in a single parent household the child of a disabled mother my father was was in Vietnam came home drug addicted is never really recovered from that one was a very precocious child however I would go to school and just school I could never reconcile it with the reality of my everyday life at home in so I felt very isolated and disengaged there skip school very very often it was often a joke that I was shocked at school and get all these awards and they've said that you were never here in school was just really too easy you know I would go in and do all the work in a day or two and expectations were really really low as in a poor disadvantaged community and I ended up at a very young age in gangs and I went to prison for twelve years at the age of nineteen twenty four a soul and I never had really thought about going to college in till also there's this thing that I heard about prison called the bard prison initiative in that totally allowed me to re imagine myself and I said that's what I'm going to do and I was in a different facility at that time easier said than done it took me six years to get from where I was to where bart was and I got there and I took the entrance exam instead of my cell and waited for the substance letter in.

Lynn Novick Sebastian forty minutes twelve years twenty years eight weeks six hours six years
"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

07:38 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Things Considered this is fresh AIR man we're discussing the new four part PBS documentary college behind bars it's about a program in which professors of Bard College give college classes in six correctional institutions our guests are at Lynn Novick who directed a documentary and die one Teatro and Sebastian Yun to graduates of the program you know what's striking about this program is that I I think a lot of people who think about ways that prisons can help incarcerated people people get jobs when they get out of prison is to provide vocational training in a teach people to be welders or auto mechanics or you know stuff like that well I'm interested interested in your perspective on this because I'm just I'm imagine that in a maximum pictures security facility there a lot of folks who didn't have kind of the educational kind of foundation to do college work the way you did or maybe I'm wrong about that I'm interested in your take on this weather vocational programs should be there do they have a place as opposed to you know this really rigorous academic program yeah I I think that we want to have as many opportunities open to people in prison as possible however I think that we also have to realize that we live in a country and we have an economy with the type of work that vocational training use to give you no longer exists factory jobs are disappearing in this country year after year the type of things that are built to people in prison currently are somewhat outdated we need repairing people in prison for the twenty first century and I think there's no better way to do that and giving them a liberal arts education at I just add that when they really remarkable things about this program is that the admissions process is looking for people who have kind of intellectual curiosity and determination and you can learn grammar you can learn the math skills you need pretty quickly if you're motivated and you see people on this kind of like exponential learning curve from places where on the you know might not seem at first glance there ready for college work on a quote and within you know a month they're doing college level reading and writing as so it's just it's it's really an open question if this this kind of opportunity were widely available and that sort of foundational skills made possible a lot more people to take advantage of it but to those who would ask that question Dave you could also ask them would you ask the same question of students who were out here as you'll see in the film there's tremendous potential among incarcerated people and what this education does is the untapped potential it teaches you how smart you are and with time as we become scholars the idea that we should be limited to just vocational training this becomes absurd vocational training is fine but we should also be having an opportunity for higher education in you know I'll just sad that we have and we have done screenings in prisons from California to Massachusetts and when people and then Kerr serrated contacts see this film the first thing they say is like I want that opportunity I want that education so when we start talking about what is best for people in prisons Lynn said we should include them in that conversation we should not expect that they are only capable of vocational training because when people ask that question or the questions being asked that usually the implicit assumption that they are only capable of this level of education in with the film shows in the work at the fiat shows is that that cannot be more on true you know getting a liberal arts education is this it is a lot of work and it expands one's horizons and a whole lot of ways and then just wonder if you could just reflect a bit on how it might have changed you that one having a liberal arts education this made me a much deeper thinker but while I was receiving that education as I said it was liberating so you know the in the Greek liberal arts education literally means education worthy of a free man and the paradox here is that I was someone getting in that type of education walls in person but the education itself is what liberated me it gave me the ability to put names to systems and things that impacted my life in IT help me understand my place in the world and activated me as a specifically minded person and it has had a profound impact on my personality and just the way that I move through the world today Sebastian you from a liberal arts education cultivated in me a conceptual an intellectual openness that invited me to consider worlds outside of my world from different times start in space and I think it bread for me empathy which is something that I didn't have a lot of when I was a teenager I always thought that my logic and my feelings from others no pun intended and you know just being in a classroom setting where I was sitting down with people from different backgrounds listening to their stories and their ideas and you start to appreciate that despite the differences that we have they are so much more similarities among us and as I move forward in life and as I work to be a part of the social justice reform movement I feel very passionate about and excited that we are going to make progress Lynn Novick congratulations on the documentary Sebastian you and I wanted to congratulations on your degree so wish you continued success thank you so much for speaking with us thank you for having us thank you sebesta noon and I won T. true earned bachelor's degrees from the bard prison initiative they appear in the PBS documentary college behind bars directed by Lynn Novick they spoke with fresh tears Dave Davies college behind bars airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations and will be available for streaming tomorrow on fresh air our guests will be Glenn Simpson and Peter Frisch the former Wall Street journal reporters who formed fusion GPS private research company during the twenty sixteen presidential campaign they were hired by Republicans and then by Democrats and investigated connections between trump and Russia they work for former British intelligence officer Christopher steal his dossier was leaked and publish Simpson and French have a new book called crime in progress I hope you'll join pressure is executive producers I techno director and engineers are our associate producer of digital media.

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

02:27 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Would get a motion of number they are like congratulations good job and then they're like strip and then you know you approach in the search area you're in this liminal place and you know they like stripped and they trust you right back in the press a new browser member not a whole lot I'm a college student your normal brother I'm an uncle on the sun but that's why in this is not me this is not my identity I'm not going to wear you know I'm not taking it back to my so I'm going to sleep with that said I want to draw and Sebastian Yun from the PBS documentary college behind bars which premieres tonight on PBS also with us is the director of the documentary and flick Sebastian you how long after your graduation did you have to Sir before you got released our two more years after my bachelor's degree in two thousand seventeen what was that have what was that time like for you I never stopped being a student even after you graduate all as long as you are in a prison in which part prison initiative operates you're allowed to take courses and was incredible is that you can also serve as tutors so you're constantly working with other students who are trying to obtain their associate's degrees or bachelor's and if people stayed in touch with folks you know from the program and help people you helped I would say that all my friends right now or my peers from the B. P. R. program and our network is really growing when they come home now I'll be off to help each other get jobs that's how I got my job at open society foundations and read just a really is tied court and we see each other as family because we've been to the same struggles it was not the same education we're talking about the new PBS documentary college behind bars with Lynn Novick who directed the series and also with us our Sebastian Yun and die one Teatro two formerly incarcerated graduates of the bard prison initiative that both are in college degrees and are now employed we will continue our conversation after the short break this is fresh AIR WNYC is supported by the vision zero initiative in New York City one in three pedestrian deaths or serious injuries involve a turning vehicle vision zero encourages drivers to turn slowly and always watch for pedestrians and cyclists.

Sebastian Yun director Lynn Novick WNYC B. P. New York City
"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

03:17 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"About I'm sorry for having this on our family through such on the server an unbearable well some of them thank you from the graduation ceremony of the bard is an initiative Sebastian you own your father was in the audience right we see him gently yes it was yeah I guess you still treasure that moment greatest moment of my life die one trader what was what was your graduation experience like so I actually graduated with might be a after I was released from prison okay and so I will got to walk across the stage on bars and Intel campus with the other four hundred students in white here in two thousand and eighteen and you know one of the just greatest moments there is that when the BPI students were getting up to walk the states the president of the college Leon bots dean said you know he said these are some of our most distinguished and greatest students and the whole student body stood and gave us of resounding round of applause searches of really really moving moment to be celebrated while on the main part campus in that way by all these amazing young people well that's that's really remarkable what you know for for a number of the graduates in this is true Sebastian not die one there was this there's this terrible paradox where into the fact that you are completing your college degree and graduating doesn't mean that you are released from prison it's two different systems right and this is a moment from the film after the graduation ceremony which we just saw where I guess Sebastian you've got your degree and I won you were attending but you're reflecting on what it's like to finish this joyous event and then leave the prison auditorium and then returned to the housing unit were you will be rudely searched and then go back to your cells so let's just listen to this this what we will hear Sebastian Yun first and then we'll hear I wanted to is this moment where you walk past this store and always use curtains and officers waiting and like rose after graduation there were like thirty on each side of the shower bloom is waiting for you you have this big smile on your face when you're leaving the auditorium and a mess hall and you see this room and all of a sudden reality just comes crashing appointee and then you say this is my reality what but I thought what just happened in the in the auditorium was also reality so you have this problem where you have to try to juggle these two realities one of which is so beautiful and one of which is so dark and disgusting where you have to reveal your body the orifices now I'm done I would get a motion of number they are like congratulations good job and then they're like strip and then you know you approach.

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

05:03 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"NPR news and the New York conversation this is fresh air I'm Terry gross let's get back to the interview fresh air as Dave Davies recorded with Lynn Novick director of the new PBS documentary college behind bars and Sebastian noon and I want to hate road to graduates of the bard prison initiative unit Teatro earn college degrees taking rigorous core courses taught by Bard College faculty in a maximum security prison college behind bars airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations there was a time when higher education in correctional facilities was pretty common and then this changed in the nineties when we had the crime bill right yes indeed and before the nineteen ninety four seven crime bill there were college programs in almost every correctional facility in America and that would injure for over a generation and it was well understood and accepted that education was a central part of criminal justice and of rehabilitation and in the context of the nineties and the tough on crime rhetoric and the super predator kind of you know demonization of people who have have been convicted of crimes as part of the Clinton crime bill there was an amendment to withdraw eligibility for Pell grants for people who are in prison and that's L. programs are just be based on economic need so once that happened almost all those programs vanished went from about eight hundred programs to fewer than ten and there was a tremendous void recidivism rates skyrocketed for a variety of reasons including this and slowly some privately funded program started to come back again and the bard prisons shift which was began in nineteen ninety nine Max Kellerman started it was an undergraduate at bard and just for saw this need and and you know convince the college that would be something that they should try to do and so it's a pioneering program not innovative in the sense that there had been higher education and present before but unusual in the sense that very few institutions were joined us at that time part of that crime bill Dave was comprised on allocating ten billion dollars to build more prisons and ten billion dollars at the time was enough to pay for higher education in prisons for more than two hundred years by the way you know the recent research shows that for every dollar state investing college in prison it saves four to five dollars and re incarceration calls and I think that's just about the the the the the button or the final notice that never citizen rates for the general population are between fifty and sixty percent that means that the fifty fifty to sixty percent of the six hundred thirty thousand people to get out of prison every year are back in prison and three years and the bard prison the service at six hundred graduates be released over the last twenty years and fewer than four percent have gotten back to prison you know this is tough material in these classes and anybody who watches this film will think gosh I don't know if I could handle this stuff in one of the things that I I saw as I watch the four episodes in this reminded me of when I taught middle school and high school many many years ago was saying what happens when students are first confronted with Israel it seems really daunting and they have to learn to think critically and express ideas that are kind of uncomfortable in that over time you see them they're they're you know they're thinking and expression become sharper and more sophisticated and you can just see it you can just see this intellectual blossoming and I'm wondering I'm an escape Sebastian did you feel yourself changing as you move through these courses are yeah without a doubt in the beginning you don't even know how to use a comma and the next year you you realize that you're writing ten page papers with correct grammar and throughout this process we're constantly talking with each other helping each other out because unlike the outside here you have the internet our peers become the internet they become the support system that we need to rely on the school also has graduation Sir what he's in this is very moving I mean there's it's it's in the prison auditorium right with you know caps and gowns and photos and parents in the audience and I want to play a clip here this is when you Sebastian Yun are speaking at the graduation and there's I'll just let the listener so they'll there's an emotional moment here where you start to speak of your family and you have to stop and compose yourself and then you address your father directly let's listen fellow graduates my friends let me remind you that we have an obligation to share our stories and to hold the idea that if we wish to have a better world as we all do then we must first change ourselves our story is our lives they are influenced by a great number of people for me my family has been.

NPR New York Terry gross ten billion dollars sixty percent two hundred years five dollars four percent twenty years three years
"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

09:26 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"Seven federal agents surrounded a trailer park in misery their target leader of a white supremacist militia I have a we need is arrested him the phone a massive R. C. C. for plastic explosives hand grenades thousands of rounds of ammunition years after his release he killed three people how he slipped through the cracks this afternoon on All Things Considered weekday starting at four on WNYC this is fresh AIR man we're discussing the new four part PBS documentary college behind bars it's about a program in which professors of Bard College give college classes in six correctional institutions our guests are at Lynn Novick who directed a documentary and die one takes and Sebastian Yun to graduates of the program college behind bars airs on PBS stations tonight and tomorrow you know it's interesting when I look at the scenes of of the classroom in the documentary it's a four part documentary and there are a lot of scenes these classes are a lot more orderly and focused then I remember any of my college or high school classes being people were invested in this Willie all like that Lynn yeah pretty much I mean I think you know having taught the program myself out you walk into class and the students are there and they are ready and they are prepared and they've done all the reading and they read the footnotes and they read the ancillary reading and they are you know you better know what you're doing and they really love to engage the professors and each other and that was true for every single class I never saw a class for people weren't paying attention not one and we are in a lot of classes yeah it was interesting one of the bard professor said you know I don't have all these multi media tools that you do in a big institution but when you're in a class where everybody's done the reading you don't need a mismatch yes the faculty generally find this experience so energizing because of that exact thing that they have to sort of education of course on the bard campus and in BPI they actually have to make the BVI version of it harder give more assignments and you know up the reading because the students are just so here for the material and expect so much adult learners are in a much more mature and have life experience so I know when I was in college and I was reading Greek tragedy or Shakespeare or you know classic tax it was just an assignment to me I had to understand the idea of hubris I have to understand the idea of tragedy I understand these concepts but I had no life experience to bring to that you know I want to talk to you Sebastian Yun and die one takes you a bit about your lives and you both entered prison as teenagers right and this is not obviously the happiest part of your life but and you can say as much as you want about it but I think the audience would be interested in knowing a bit about what your life was like coming up and what were the circumstances that that landed you in this prison die one you want to share something sure you know I am originally from Albany New York I grew up in a single parent household the child of a disabled mother of my father was was in Vietnam came home drug addicted is never really recovered from that one was a very precocious child however I would go to school and just school I could never reconcile it with the reality of my everyday life at home in so I felt very isolated and disengaged there skip school very very often it was often a joke that I would show up at school and get all these awards and they would say that you were never here in school was just really too easy you know I would go in and do all the work and a day or two and expectations were really really low as in a poor disadvantaged community and I ended up at a very young age in gangs and I went to prison for twelve years at the age of nineteen twenty four a soul and I never had really thought about going to college in till also there's this thing that I heard about prison called the bard prison initiative in that totally allowed me to re imagine myself and I said that's what I'm going to do and I was in a different facility at that time easier said than done it took me six years to get from where I was to where bart was and I got there and I took the entrance exam instead of my cell and waited for the substance letter in that moment when that letter came forever altered the trajectory of my life and and the crime that that got to him was that you you shot someone in retaliation for an attack on you and your sister yes Sebastian unit tell us a little about yourself yeah so I grew up in flushing queens my mother left me went out me and my siblings when I was five so my dad raised us three my older brother and my sister by himself he worked eleven our ships so he was mostly at work and I think I was only I was I was a lonely kid and at the age of ten my family was my dad made enough money we moved to Long Island and they're in school I had my first experience with racism and discrimination because I was one of a handful of Asian students and I was bullied a lot and I've I started to respond with violence because I thought I had no other option and then I saw that it worked when kids stop bothering me I guess I started feeling this false sense of empowerment and then I I I can to crave it more and more I just want to acknowledgement in this spot feeling of power and security so I started hanging out in the streets and you know how to crew of boys that always hung out with and one day we went to a karaoke bar and a fight erupted and to somebody ended up losing his life so I was charged at the age of sixteen for manslaughter in the first degree and I was sentenced to fifteen years and then upon entering prison I felt the same all their nest I felt while I was in middle and high school right if you wish you are Korean American right yes click on yes and your your dad went through some really tough times subset you to to create when you were little because he was trying trying to find a way to keep keep things together you know it's interesting Lynn Novick I mean I I think there are a lot of powerful stories in these documentaries of the students most had circumstances early in their life which were really really tough heart breaking in many cases I don't think I heard anybody use that as an excuse for for committing crimes that no Sir I haven't got into the project we're focusing on that transformational aspect of it power of education and what did it mean to get this education long prison but as we got to know the students we began to understand the circumstances of their lives which as you say were complicated sometimes tragic often involved exposure to violence and other tragic experiences and you know we came to feel that it was important for them to and they also felt was important for them to explain themselves how they see themselves where they can where they are through the lens of the education they've been getting and the perspectives that have shifted over time and so the film ends up and their stories and up you know raising some really important questions about violence and about harm and incarceration and what is present for and what is the value of education all these things are intersecting overlapping and you know what we hope is that through these they're very courageous and generous sharing of their stories we can all have a different kind of conversation we have thought about who is in prison white people are incarcerated what our criminal justice system doesn't doesn't do too it's supposed to be helping people to prepare to come back to society and become productive citizens we you know without quite realizing that the beginning have ended up exploring this really easy question and I would say that's when we started the project sometimes people say to us so most people in prison will say that they're innocent and they didn't do the crime that they're there for that was not our experience at all everyone that we got to know well took full responsibility for what happened and explained the context in which it happened and how they are reckoning of that today Lynn Novick speaking with Dave Davies Novick directed the four part documentary college behind bars which airs tonight and tomorrow night on PBS stations that one takes row and Sebastian noon are graduates of the bard prison initiative after a break let's talk about getting their degrees leaving prison and rejoining their families and how they think a liberal arts.

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"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

08:54 min | 2 years ago

"sebastian yun" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"To do it here and when you leave this room tonight there is now something that can be taken away from you that's completely different than when you walked in and that's from the documentary college behind bars directed by our guest Lynn Novick also with us or die one takes road and Sebastian noon graduates of the program I'm gonna ask each of you to give me your first impressions here you know Lynn Novick I believe this project grew out of your own experience teaching the course right tell me how the experience compared with what you expected the most significant thing for me was that when Max can asked me if I would teach a course on documentary in history he said the students would love to have a film class but you have to promise if you're gonna do it this has to be extremely rigorous this can't just be watching movies and talking about it you have to have a very sophisticated demanding syllabus and assessments and writing assignments and the students have to perform at the level that we expect for Bard College otherwise you're not doing them any favors that degree really means something when they leave this program with their degree from bart and so I was a little bit I'm intimidated by that just putting together the course was challenging and working with the students over the course of the eight weeks that we taught was thrilling Sebastian Yun tell us what it was like getting started in these classes when I first got into the bard prison initiative I honestly had low expectations of the program and I think that's because in general as a prisoner I had those no expectations on life and when I actually started my courses I was shocked by how rigorous and how demanding the program was I remember telling my professor died how can I completed an eight page paper if I feel like I completed in only two and she said well welcome to college and it wasn't and it was a very interesting moment for me where where I realized that the education that I was receiving and prison was the same education that I I wouldn't see it had I want to college out there I wanted to what was it like for you you know one of the most silly at moments for me in my time in BPI's my first time walking into the bard library at eastern correctional facility and I remember walking in in seeing men like me in prison uniforms except that they were speaking Mandarin they were doing advanced mathematics math without numbers on the board and I kind of froze in place and just looked around the room and just felt really really inspired you know that is not the type of thing you expect to be happening in the present so it totally enthralled me and motivated me to go after this education with George hill Lynn of it covers the basics of the program kind of how large of the classes what kind of mood what kind of courses are taught yeah so the program is twenty years old and it started small and today there are three hundred students in six facilities in New York state mostly men but there's one facility for women as well the students have it quite impressive breath of curriculum they study all the disciplines in the liberal arts and they are first eligible for an associate degree and then if they complete that they can apply to get a bachelor's degree they study math test I once said languages history literature arch a science philosophy economics public policy you know public health I mean it's a wide range of liberal arts curriculum and it's you know spending time in the classrooms a seraph outside the producer and I did I kept thinking I wish I could go back to college and had this experience because it is the classes are small it's always a seminar style there's a lot of interaction with the students with the professor and with each other and which means another thing also goes on outside the classroom you know some of might thing that prison inmates would have an easier time focusing on all this rigorous school work because they literally you know captive in the institution and are not distracted by parties are dating or football games like you know students on a traditional campus are they right about that I want I think that that couldn't be further from the truth prison is not an easy place to get an education your education in that space can be interrupted in all types of different ways at any time of day there are bells there are two counts you have to go back to your cell you know you forgot your book you can't just go back and get your book you don't have the internet so there are a lot of things that impede your education in that space in one of the reasons that we have to focus so hard and have that the discipline that we had in this program is so that we could focus on the work and get the work done in a place where there's a lot of stress pressure and distractions yeah this business of counts I mean Sebastian you you want to explain this this is five times a day right five times a day and if you're in a class when it's time for cannot what happens well class is usually happen in between counts but the problem is that there can be written rebels conveying off in prison at any time so you can be in class midway and if the bell rings because the count was off or if there's a security problem then you have to go back to your cells it's it's too literally count to insure that every inmate is known for so how long does this take you gotta go back to your guest your cell right and and wait until you get the all clear sometimes it takes forty minutes sometimes it could take six hours while I'm how much noise is there and does that make it hard to read I want yeah there's extreme amount of noise in prisons you ten have these open cell blocks and people are locked in their cells so just to have normal kind of conversation people have to literally yell back and forth in so yeah that is a huge impediment to trying to learn what things I used to do this kind of put my headphones on with classical music and that's how I would get my reading and get my work done but one of the things that was also great there are instances where the other prisoners would accommodate us where they would say you know the bar guys are working at this table let's go over here make noise or like embargoes in the room stay in their room studying let's keep the noise down so that was like really really kind of humbling to see that type of support from the general population you know I was going to ask about relations with you know other prisoners the numbers that I remember from the documentary was that at the root eight hundred ninety or so in the institution a hundred and ten in the program which is a pretty good number but that means a lot that were probably some applied and did not get and others that have to do you know kind of routine prison jobs instead of being in class was there jealousy or resentment no you know one of the great things about being in BPI when the great things about this education have been in the educational spaces that it really really motivates people to be them best selves and to go on after this opportunity so within the prison contacts you know people know who the guys are in BPI in they come to us for advice they come to us for essay writing classes in math tutoring so that they can prepare to get into the program themselves I have several friends who are still incarcerated that I spent my summers outside of class tutoring in there now in the program so we really take the opportunity that we had seriously and try to give back in real tangible ways to the wider population I just in time and one other thing which is I've heard by one thousand the other students as well as Max say that you know it also just sort of changes the culture of the whole facility and that you know there's something positive going on and that people don't want to get in trouble so that they have an opportunity to be there to stay there and can potentially be involved in the program so it has a ripple effect even beyond people applying to jobs in of the facilities whether is higher education have less incidents of violence and disruption and things like that so people in corrections department recognize that as well we're talking about the new PBS documentary college behind bars with Lynn Novick the director and with Sebastian noon and die one Teatro two formerly incarcerated graduates of the bard prison and issued if they've earned college degrees and are now employed we will continue our conversation after a short break this is fresh AIR nineteen eighty.

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