About Us

Just Ideas brings together Columbia interns and some of the most talented professors in New York City to engage on equal terms with people in New York prisons.

Our goals are to speak to the dignity of every single person and explore the constituents of a proper human life. By discussing some of the most challenging literature there is, we provoke reflections on profound philosophical questions like the role of love and suffering in life, the nature of justice and wisdom.

Whether we're reading Sophocles' Antigone, Plato's Apology, Boccaccio's Decameron, or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, we practice embodied learning, close reading, and group work, and inspire each other to become more reflective agents in the world.

Graduates of our semester-long courses receive Columbia University course credit. Graduates of our mini-courses are awarded a Columbia University Certificate as a recognition of their success.

Your class was a step out of prison...
...and into the unknown world.