Vivian Nixon

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Guest Faculty

Vivian Nixon is a writer and poet. She has been writing about social justice in Newsmax, USA Today, New York Times, The Hill, and San Francisco Bee and elsewhere since 2004. A Pen America Justice Writing Fellow, Nixon holds an MFA, from Columbia University School of Arts and is Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship. She recently co-edited, What We Know: Solutions from Our Experiences in the Justice System (The New Press).


Biography

Nixon is the Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship (CCF). The organization works to increase women’s access to higher education so they and their families can thrive. CCF’s constituents, primarily women of color, have all had their lives affected by policing, prosecution, and corrections systems. In the late 1990s, she served three years incarcerated at Albion State Correctional Facility in New York. It was the single most cathartic experience of her life. In prison, she became an educator and mentor to women of all ages.

Nixon studied biblical scholarship and theology at the Ministerial Institute of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC). She is an ordained elder but not active in a pastoral capacity. Before receiving an MFA, she spent two years studying African American Literature as a Columbia University Community Scholar and has received multiple honors and awards including the John Jay Medal for Justice, the Ascend Fellowship at the Aspen Institute, and the Soros Justice Fellowship. Nixon began writing about social justice in 2004. Her writing appears in many publications including Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, The Hill, and San Francisco Bee. A Pen America Justice Writing Fellow and Agnes Gund Art for Justice Grantee, she holds an MFA, from Columbia University School of Arts and is a 2020 Teaching Fellow. She recently co-edited, What We Know: Solutions from Our Experiences in the Justice System (The New Press). Nixon is a guest faculty member for Bennington in Fall 2020.