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

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.

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.

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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!

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.

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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!!!

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.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently attended a CFS training. The organizers were prepared, eloquent, and poised to handle any question directed at them. In the past CFS has opened their space for other groups I am a part of to meet there when we didn't have our own space. They are truly committed to supporting anti-oppression struggles of every kind. CFS is fierce!

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

Social justice organizing

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

increase funding so they can expand their services!

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Review from Guidestar