Bard Microcollege for Just Community Leadership logo overlaid on a photo of a Harlem mural.

The Bard Microcollege for Just Community Leadership is the nation’s first tuition-free college dedicated to advocacy, arts and sciences.

Read the Press Release

A Partnership Of

JustLeadership USA Logo.

JustLeadershipUSA is a national non-profit, led by directly impacted people, dedicated to decarcerating the United States by educating, elevating and empowering the people and communities most impacted by systemic racism to drive the kinds of policy reform that builds thriving, sustainable and healthy communities.

College & Community Felllowship Logo.

College & Community Fellowship (CCF) enables women with criminal justice involvement to earn their college degrees so that they, their families and their communities can thrive. CCF helps women and families most harmed by mass criminalization gain equitable access to opportunity.

BPI Bard Prison Initiative Logo.

Since 1999, the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) has been a national leader in restoring and expanding college opportunity to incarcerated people nationwide. In 2016, BPI expanded its work redefining the place of higher education to enroll traditionally excluded students in community-based settings.

Now Streaming:

A panel discussion launching the Bard Microcollege for Justice Community Leadership

Featuring panelists:

  • Craig Wilder, Barton L. Weller Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • DeAnna Hoskins, President & CEO, Just Leadership USA
  • Vivian Nixon, Executive Director, College & Community Fellowship
  • Max Kenner, Founder & Executive Director, Bard Prison Initiative

For New Yorkers of any age who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system — or those aspiring to careers in advocacy, community building or social justice — the Microcollege enrolls students in a full-time academic program culminating in an associate’s degree from Bard College.

A partnership among JustLeadershipUSA, College & Community Fellowship, and the Bard Prison Initiative, this Bard Microcollege culminates years of cooperation between three organizations insisting that education and community-based advocacy always be at the core of criminal justice reform.

Based at the Countee Cullen branch of the New York Public Library on 136th St. in the cultural heart of Harlem, the Bard Microcollege for Just Community Leadership engages students in a curriculum focused on providing the advocates and community leaders of tomorrow with a broad education that is classical and contemporary, artistic and practical, global and local.

About the Program Admissions Info and FAQ

“It is a thrill to ignite the brilliance that exists within our justice-impacted community. Every student is a sign that one day, we will all thrive as individuals and together.”

— Rev. Vivian D. Nixon