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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Chicago Freedom School

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Student Services

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.

Community Story

Karlah A.


Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar