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.
Results: All of our organizational resources are allocated to support the leadership development of marginalized young people. Over 90% of Freedom Fellowship participants and alumni at the Chicago Freedom School are from low-income neighborhoods and 100% of them identify as people of color. Adult allies trained at CFS include professional youth organizers, public and private school educators, program directors at houses of workshop, and social service providers.
Programs: CFS provides training and education opportunities for youth and adult allies to develop leadership skills through the lens of civic action and through the study of the history of social movements and their leaders.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-4735643
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Community Reviews

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Chicago Freedom School Has changed my life and the way I view things in such a positive way. It gave me the chance to build good relationship with adults that I would usually have with my parents only. Here I feel safe. Here at Chicago Freedom School the world is mine to bring peace to. I have done many things that a youth without the chance wouldn't do such as The Freedom Rides, learning about oppression. I'm truly thank that i was involved and still am because I don't know where I would be. There is no event or emotion I regret.

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

I have personally experienced the results of this organization to become a better person and to pass on the knowledge I have gained.

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

if i had to make changes i would give it a bigger location and have more money.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

i was a 2009 freedom fellow at the Chicago freedom school, and now i am part of the youth leadership board. i was a very extremely shy person afraid of speaking up for what i believed in, and after taking part of this my views of the world have changed. i am no longer afraid of speaking my mind and saying whats right. i have conducted teen dating violence workshops to about 250 youth, and plan to do it this year again, the old me before this great opportunity would never in a million years thought i would be doing this. I have learned so much thanks to the freedom school, they are people who truly care about youth. they offer a space where we can learn to change the world little by little, it doesn't matter what gender you are, how young you are or what race you are.

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

becoming a better person.

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

have a bigger location, to give more youth the opportunity to go through this.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

CFS is the best place for youth to go and just get away from the day. Being a freedoom fellow and a memeber of the Youth leadership board is jus wonderful The adults are ot like any adults you would ever meet, they are kind and dont judge like everyone else.

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

being a freedom fellow expericening CFS upfront.

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

woulkdnt do anything CFS is just perfect.!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been volunteering on and off with CFS for a few years now, and from my experience it is one of the most comprehensive and effective social justice organizations I have come across. CFS has a broad vision that includes all levels of antioppression thought. From that basis they are able create extremely effective programs that target larger-scale, long-term systemic change through popular education. They exemplify what it means to be dedicated to dismantling the imbroglio of oppression, and they do it with loving kindness.

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

how they work with youth and adults alike to challenge oppression at an internal and external level.

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

Expand their programming into venues and schools around the city.

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Review from Guidestar