Department of English

Changing Lives Through Literature program celebrates graduation

Authored by: Erin Harris

Suffolk Superior Court honored seven graduates of Changing Lives Through Literature, one of the Trial Court's longest-running programs, on March 22, 2023.

Suffolk Superior Court’s Changing Lives Through Literature (CLTL) program held its spring graduation ceremony on Tuesday, March 21st. CLTL is premised on a belief in the transformative power of literature and the value of sharing ideas in a group setting. It is a collaboration between the education and justice systems that brings together probationers with a probation officer, a judge, and an educator in a reading group to confront challenging life topics through the lens of literature.

The program wasled by an incredibly passionate team that included Superior Court Judge Robert Ullmann, Chief Probation Officer Michael Forbes, Assistant Chief Probation Officer Frank Russo, and Brandeis professors John Plotz and Roz Kabrhel. The group read several books and short stories throughout the semester, including “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin.

Seven dedicated students completed the program this semester, with five in attendance at graduation. Each student was gifted a book of short stories by James Baldwin and commended for their active participation in discussions each week. During the semester, the students had the opportunity to meet with Loretta Minor, the Associate Dean of Admissions for Roxbury Community College, to learn more about opportunities for enrollment and to help empower them to continue to further themselves through reading and education.