U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Upcoming Foreign Press Center Tours

WHAT: New York Foreign Press Center Reporting Tour

TOPIC: Criminal Justice Reform in the United States: The Bard Prison Initiative

WHEN: Thursday, December 3, 2015; program begins at 8:30 a.m.; return to Manhattan at approximately 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Meet at Ford Foundation (320 E. 43rd St. btwn 1st and 2nd Ave.) at 8:30 am; NYFPC will provide roundtrip transportation to a Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) correctional facility in upstate New York (drive time of 1-2 hours from Manhattan)

RSVP: Please RSVP to nyfpc@state.gov by 5:00 pm Monday, November 9, 2015. As advance security screening can take up to three weeks, please rsvp if you have any interest in attending. Please note that video cameras and voice recorders are not permitted inside the correctional facility; still photography is allowed.

BACKGROUND: Criminal justice reform in the United States has become a key domestic priority for the White House. Prisoner re-entry and reintegration into society, in particular, is an area where the current system falls short. The White House recently announced new initiatives to promote rehabilitation and reintegration, including $8 million in education grants from the Department of Education and tech training and jobs for individuals with criminal records. President Obama has repeatedly touted criminal justice reform as an important part of his legacy.

The Bard Prison Initiative gives incarcerated men and women the opportunity to earn a Bard College degree while serving their sentences. BPI challenges participating inmates with a rigorous liberal education, after which the rate of post-release employment among the program’s participants is high and recidivism is stunningly low. In their 4th intercollegiate debating event, the BPI debate team recently faced off against a Harvard University team at Eastern NY Correctional Facility -- and won.

Join the NYFPC, the Ford Foundation, and BPI representatives in learning more about the educational program and its relationship to ongoing criminal justice reform in the United States. Journalists will visit a participating correctional facility in upstate New York, observe a BPI class in session, and speak with BPI students, teachers, and administrators, as well as prison officials.

WHAT: New York Foreign Press Center Reporting Tour

TOPIC: Energy Innovation in the Rocky Mountain State

WHEN: Wednesday, December 9 - Friday, December 11 (arriving Tuesday, December 8)

WHERE: Denver, Boulder, and Fort Carson, Colorado

RSVP: Interested media must register by emailing nyfpc@state.gov no later than 12:00 pm/noon on Monday, November 23. (There is security processing required for several locations and we need to submit the names of visitors in advance to meet deadlines.) Please call Daphne Stavropoulos at 646-282-2835 or Melissa Waheibi at 646-282-2831 with any questions.

BACKGROUND: While world leaders gather in Paris for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties, also known as COP-21, the New York Foreign Press Center is hosting a press tour to Colorado to look at energy innovation, including energy conversion technologies, and research designed to meet global energy demands that also considers how to provide affordable and secure energy supplies, reduce CO2 emissions, and address constraints on fresh water supplies.

Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the most critical component of any effective response to climate change is an energy policy that replaces fossil fuels with other sources of clean energy.

Journalists will meet with experts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the U.S. Army Base at Fort Carson, and Governor Hickenlooper. The NYFPC is also working to secure additional appointments to include the Colorado School of Mines, the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado, and Xcel Energy.

Participants are responsible for airfare, meals, hotel, and any other costs associated with filing their stories. Local transportation will be provided between meetings. Hotel recommendations will be provided once participation is confirmed.