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.
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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The Chicago Freedom School plays a crucial role in Chicago in supporting youth-led and intergenerational social change work. The Freedom School provides professional development trainings for youth workers, leadership opportunities for young people, and educational opportunities for anyone interested in positioning their work within an historical context of social justice efforts.