CHICAGO FREEDOM SCHOOL

Rating: 4.85 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: 719 S State St Ste 3N Chicago IL 60605 USA

Mission: The mission of the Chicago Freedom School (CFS) is to create new generations of independent thinking young people who use their unique experiences and power to create a just world. Our vision is in the spirit of the original freedom schools in Mississippi in the 1960s, with CFS serving as a catalyst for young people across Chicago to discover their own power to make change – not only for themselves, but also for their communities and the world.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 4 stars  

I first learned about the Chicago Freedom School (hereinafter CFS) while an undergraduate. As a former public policy debate champion turned high school debate instructor, CFS' mission quickly caught my attention, and I knew that I wanted to get involved with the organization. It blends civic engagement and action through teaching about past social movements and making connections to current situations. It does so by engaging inner-city youth in discussions that lead them to think more critically and analytically. Youth develop a sense of individuality, while learning to collaborate with the community at-large, in addition to a sense of purpose and power that enables them to effectively translate ideas into actions.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the youth and the communities that have learned about and/or collaborated with CFS, or communities that have been indirectly and positively affected by the organization's/youth's work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide them with additional funding so that the work that they do can reach farther, and the projects they envision can become realities. most importantly, CFS would be able to scout a greater number of student fellows, thus allowing the organization to grow and create greater impact.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We have watched the Freedom School transform the most challenging youth into courageous young people with a true voice in their community. The adults at CFS are caring and connected these youth in their lives. Students learn to work towards critical goals and develop strategies for developing action plans.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

recommending students to participate & assisting with fundraising and "friend-raising" efforts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the program to more schools at the elementary level.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I love this place, it's warm and welcoming. The minute you walk through the door (front or back, haha) you feel like your home! This place always has something going on, between meetings and open-events, its a place where youth and adults can come together with no boundaries. I love this place, it really is like a second home to me.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was able to spent more than one summer learning about myself, leadership skills and activism and the role youth play in all of it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make no changes, I love the place and the people. I love what CFS stands for.

Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I came to know the Chicago Freedom School through my partner, who has been involved for several years. I've attended several public education events--all of them excellent--and also occasionally helped out. I know of no other organization that does such great work to improve the social understanding of political action, both in its history and in its practice. And in a time when public education is being transformed into a single, 12-year exercise in test preparation, CFS's work to help youth (and adults) think critically about the world is absolutely crucial.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

fantastic public education events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand the budget. They do great work--it's a shame they can't do more of it.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Chicago Freedom School is incredible! I work with a childcare organization that helps parents participate in community organizing, and the Freedom School has been one of our biggest supporters. I am also a part of another collective focused on the prison industrial complex and popular education, and CFS has similarly served as a huge resource and ally to our volunteer-driven, grassroots-funded and/or un-funded work. Beyond even their own incredible programs, they do so much for the community that they are a part of. Thanks CFS!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Amazing, relevant events and educational programming that integrates history into our current movements...important collaborations between CFS and other community organizations...persistently great personal interactions with their board and staff.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't actually know. I don't have any particular feedback at this time.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I had a chance to meet youth and staff from the Chicago Freedom School at a conference. We established a relationship and then I learned more about CFS. The CFS youth helped me by allowing me to interview them about their experiences w/CFS and what impact it had in their lives. I learned that it really helped them to recognize and pursue transformative justice in their lives and those around them. Then, the CFS allowed a colleague and I to visit and observe one of their programs in action. We witnessed the "Cradle to Prison Pipeline" training which they did in partnership with other organizations and we learned SO much from that. I appreciate, support and believe in the things that CFS is doing and HOW they go about doing things! Much love from Detroit!!!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the youth that were impacted by it as well as through the knowledge and experiential learning it offered me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not have any changes to make.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I began to look at life differently thanks to Chicago Freedom School in 2009. Our program was all the way until May 2010. In our summer program, we received the chance to learn about oppression and build leadership skills. I never knew how these skills would develop throughout my outside life. In school I began to challenge my teachers and surroundings without even thinking about it. Being a liberator became my priority.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my view of the world.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change it.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I became aware of Chicago Freedom School in late 2008 when I was able to sell my expertise in typesetting and design forms and documents for the organization. The staff made me feel welcome from the moment they met me but what really impressed me was the history of the organization and their commitment to the youth they serve. The organization practices what they preach. A source of inspiration for kids whether impoverished, misunderstood, minority, LGBT, etc. I am still very impressed by the entire staff and Mia Henry's dedication and drive.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Observing the interactions of staff and children. Sitting in on impromptu meetings with the staff and at-risk youth.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would change nothing.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Chicao Freedom School has blessed me with the experience of learning about history of people of color and the importance of social justice. The Chicago Freedom School has provided me with a safe environment and a support system I can count on whether I am in Chicago or away at school. The staff is a group of sincere people who care about educating the young and old about the injustices of the world and giving youth the confidence to change the world a little bit at a time.

I love this organization and I am forever indebted to what this organization has given me.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Chicago from 2007 to the present.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

extend the weeks of fellowship

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I became a Freedom Fellow in 2009 at the Chicago Freedom School. Through the trainings and the guests speakers I gained a lot of knowledge. I developed skills like, leadership skills and public speaking skills. I learned about issues that affected my community. In this place, I was able to talk to other youth and adults and I learned about oppression. This opened my eyes to reality and now I am able to step up to issues that make me feel uncomfortable.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being unique. It has transformed people with its learning.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make the space bigger and have more money.

Review from Guidestar

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