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Vivian Nixon

Writer in Residence, The Square One Project at Columbia Justice Lab

New York, NY

The Reverend Vivian Nixon is Writer in Residence at The Square One Project at Columbia Justice Lab, a narrative and cultural change organization that works with a cross-section of stakeholders––impacted people, organizers, policy advocates, systems practitioners, social service providers, artists, academics, and students––to change national and local narratives around punishment and safety. Previously, Rev. Nixon served as the Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women with criminal convictions earn college degrees.

As a formerly incarcerated woman and prior CCF program participant, Rev. Nixon is uniquely positioned to lead the charge to help justice-involved women and their families have a better future. While incarcerated, Rev. Nixon spent time as a peer educator for the adult basic education program at Albion State Correctional Facility in New York. Following her release, she was ordained by the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) and currently serves as an associate minister at Mt. Zion AMEC in New York City. She is a Columbia University Community Scholar and a recipient of the John Jay Medal for Justice, the Ascend Fellowship at the Aspen Institute, the Soros Justice Fellowship, and the Petra Foundation Fellowship. She is a co-founder of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition (EIO), a collaborative effort to increase access to higher education for justice-involved students and serves on the advisory board of JustLeadershipUSA. Rev. Nixon holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York Empire College.