About Us

About Us

One place can hold a big story.

Learn the history of a former prison from the people who lived it.

The GrowingChange History Project (GCHP) is an independent public history project created to support the research and interpretation of a former prison in Wagram, North Carolina. It aims to amplify GrowingChange youth leaders’ work to transform the site into a farm and community center. This project began as a partnership between GrowingChange and the Museum Studies MA program at UNC Greensboro (UNCG). It incorporates the ongoing participation of a wealth of community members whose personal stories are a vital part of the history of the Wagram prison camp.

Explore our exhibit about North Carolina incarceration history through the lens of the old Wagram prison.

Ask yourself:

Together, what can we do about mass incarceration?

Two youth leaders stand outside a former prison
Terrance Smith and Cody Oxendine, early GrowingChange youth leaders, on site at the former Wagram prison camp, ca. 2015. Courtesy GrowingChange

Our Mission

With the guidance of GrowingChange youth leaders, the GrowingChange History Project engages young people and visitors from across North Carolina and the wider US to critically reflect on incarceration history and to imagine alternatives.

GrowingChange formed in response to the need for alternatives to mass incarceration in Scotland County, NC. Using a “prison flip” method to turn an old chain-gang-era prison into a farm, community center, and museum, the organization strives to transform the lives of young people who have been impacted by the carceral system.

GrowingChange leaders with GCHP members standing around a table outside at the former prison
GrowingChange History Project members with the GrowingChange team on site at the former Wagram prison camp, 2019. Courtesy GrowingChange

Our Goals

  • To introduce visitors to the history of the North Carolina prison system through the story of one chain-gang-era prison
  • To invite young people to engage with the idea of alternatives to mass incarceration
  • To deepen public understanding of the history of the chain gang era in North Carolina and its legacy and encourage audiences to make a personal connection
  • To broaden the base of support nationally for GrowingChange’s model for prison reuse and youth empowerment

Our Team

Thank you

Scotland County Commissioner Betty Blue Gholston and Geraldean Douglas

This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In memory of Julius Douglas and John Thames