(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the Inside-Out Program, a 10-week arts and social justice course at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) Youth Services Center to be taught by actor and Howard University student Nick Cannon and Howard University Professor Dr. Bahiyyah Muhammad.
“We are grateful to Nick and Dr. Muhammad for turning their passion for justice and the arts into opportunity for our young people,” said Mayor Bowser. “When we provide our youth with programs that both engage and challenge them, we know that they are more likely to succeed and to reach their goals. This is a unique program and a unique opportunity for everyone involved.”
Tailored to DYRS youth, this is the first such Inside-Out Program in the District and the first to be offered at a Historically Black College or University that will unfold inside a secure juvenile facility. The Inside-Out program works to bring various Howard University resources into the facility to engage with all residents in order to help facilitate successful reentry back into their families and communities.
“Program partnerships like these are opportunities to speak firsthand about their experience, what the needs are and to educate as much as learn,” said DYRS Director Clinton Lacey. “It’s a true two-way exchange, and we are grateful for the chance to show how successful youth engagement, restoration and pouring into youth who have had some challenges is ultimately an investment in our communities and their public safety.”
The program and curriculum will follow the DYRS approach to education and the Positive Youth Justice (PYJ) framework that seeks to empower youth by meeting them where they are. Each course offering will be guided by feedback and leadership of the detained youth from various units.