“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.”
We danced, we learned, we created.
Since our start seven years ago, we have cultivated a space to empower youth to create their own safe spaces and organizations, to learn from each other, and to find many different ways to connect with the topics we cover. In the process, we learn as much as from them about we from them. We learn about their school climates, how education policies affect them day-to-day, and the injustices they see in their own schools and communities. From that, we are always reshaping our curriculums to meet the needs of the group. We learn over and over again that young people will surpass any expectation you set. Their vibrancy, their ideas, their knowledge are invaluable.
Freedom School is a two-week program that brings together high school-aged youth around the Triangle area and beyond to organizing skills, political analysis, restorative justice, and young people’s movement history. Every summer, Freedom School is transformative for both the staff and participants. In our Durham and Raleigh tracks this year, we covered topics ranging from reproductive justice, disability justice, and migrant justice, to the impacts map making, canvassing, and media training can have. From the histories of education, prisons, and colonialism, to gender expression and drag culture, art as a way to fight gentrification, and guerrilla theater.
How did we make it through the EIGHTH ANNUAL Freedom Schools? With the help of numerous volunteers, workshop leaders, and parents.
In Bull City, thank you to Chris and Joanna for providing rides to students. Thank you to Kristen for gathering lunch donations. Thank you CORE Catering, Pompieri Pizza, and the Durham Co-Op. Thanks also to Nicholas from Community Alliance for Public Education for bringing us great lunch. Thank you to Elena for coordinating a magical field day to Wheels. Happy Birthday to Eden. Happy Birthday to Assata Shakur. Thank you to Durham Friends Meeting allowing us to use this space, especially the DFM Peace & Social Concerns Committee.
In Raleigh, we have many thanks to give as well! Thank you to Jhari, Reed, and Chris for transportation. Thank you to Chris, Fernando, Jill, Butler’s Catering, Noodles & Co, Elena for feeding us. Thank you Seth for coming through with logistics. Thank you to Elena for coordinating a fantastic cookout. Thank you Pullen Memorial Baptist Church letting us use their space, year after year.
Thank you to the International Civil Right Museum, Beloved Community Center, Stephanie’s Catering, and Greenway Transits for the Greensboro field trip. Thank you so much to Benjamin, Pavithra, Snehal, Theo, Altha, Alex, Jeff, Kathryn, Sidney, and Jonathan for donating to our $5,000 for goal for this year’s Freedom School!!! Thank you to all staff, parents, workshop leaders, and volunteers who showed up and showed out: you made this happen.