Lee Perlman

Co-Director, The Educational Justice Institute at MIT

United States

TEJI grew out of Dr. Lee Perlman’s dedication and passion to provide incarcerated men and women with the opportunity to obtain college degrees.

Lee earned his BA from St. John’s College (Annapolis), and his MA in political philosophy at Georgetown University, before completing his doctorate at MIT in political philosophy. In 1984 Lee joined the teaching staff of the Experimental Study Group (ESG), MIT’s first freshman learning community, where he has taught for most of the last 33 years.

Lee began teaching in prisons in 2012, through Boston University’s Prison Education Program. He founded the MIT Prison Initiative in 2016 with the support of ESG. Through the initiative, Lee teaches classes to both MIT and incarcerated students at medium- to maximum-security Massachusetts Correctional Institutions. Lee has been awarded the Irwin Sizer Award for Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education three times (1997, 2015, & 2019). He was also awarded MIT’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award in 2018.

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