Walls to Bridges Course

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This course is not available in 2021-2022 due to COVID-19 sanitory restrictions

This course, based on the ‘Walls-to-Bridges Program’ model, is an opportunity for a small group of students from the University of Ottawa (up to a maximum of 10) and a detention centre (up to a maximum of 10) to study together as peers in a seminar style course. Classes will be held inside a detention centre and the instructor will act as facilitator to guide discussion about the various topics and as resources to share relevant information where appropriate.

The class will be seminar style with large and small group discussion, in class group activities, a group project, personal written reflections (journaling), and a final paper as the primary methods of learning and evaluation. The instructor will act as facilitator to guide discussion about the various topics, and as resource to share relevant information where appropriate.

The fall semester course is offered in French only and explores the subject of othering” and the divisive mentalities that pit groups in opposition to one another (us versus them). Students will learn through in class activities, readings, group discussions, journaling and other writing assignments, and individual and group assignments based on academic and non-academic (popular culture) literature and materials. There will be a special focus on the deconstruction of the other in relation to race, gender, class and poverty in the criminal justice system and the community. Students will be encouraged to examine local, national and international cases/topics and to discuss the othering process as it occurs in these cases. Students will be asked to consider how we (individually and collectively) actively engage in othering, how it works, as well as what we are trying to protect/defend by othering. Discussion of how we can resist othering will also be encouraged. It is only through open and honest discussion that we can start to unpack the othering process and how we mobilize our own privilege (consciously or not) to cast certain groups as different, dangerous or other.

This course, as part of Walls to Bridges Program, has been made possible with the assistance of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Course requirements

When applying, a student:

  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Must be registered full time, in an Honours Bachelor offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Must have completed 54 university credits
  • Submit application to the course by completing the online form by the prescribed date.
  • If selected for the course, student must be successful in obtaining security clearance by OCDC and the Ottawa Police Service (Professor will indicate the process to follow)
  • Students must be committed to attending all classes at the detention centre
Application process

Step one

Course not available Fall 2021

First selection phase is based on the student’s application form - Application form must be submitted by

Step two

Second and final selection phase based on in-person or Skype interviews held between You will be contacted by email if you are selected for the interview process.

Step three

Final acceptance into the course pending security clearance by the Ottawa Police Service (CPIC Check)

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