About Us

Mission Statement

The South Side Chicago Freedom School offers quality, no-cost, volunteer-run, community-based educational opportunities for people of all ages through the city of Chicago.  Classes and workshops directly respond to neighborhood and community specific desires and needs.

The South Side Chicago Freedom School also acts as a nexus of information and opportunities for the broader community of Chicago's education based organizations.

The South Side Chicago Freedom School believes that all community members are also teachers and that therefore anyone can teach a class.  This fundamental faith and belief in the worth of existing stores of knowledge within our own community supports our mission to encourage the growth of grassroots educational opportunities.

Manifesto

1. Come everyday with a new question and leave with a different one.
2. The optimal class is one where both student and facilitator are able to step outside of their comfort zone and learn from their experience.
3. When in doubt, err on the risky side.
4. Passion, not progress, is what is most valued.
5. It is not what you know, it is what you apply.    

Relationship to Occupy

The Occupy Freedom School is autonomous from Occupy although this project is the brain child of a member of Occupy The South Side in Chicago, but it doesn't just stop there.  Many of the volunteers have been or currently involved with Occupy to some capacity.  The Freedom School is run essentially in the same manner:  horizontally organized and through direct democracy, meaning that there is no single "leader", rather each person that gets involved is encouraged to be a leader, and each person is given equal standing and all voices are heard and respected.  Many within the Occupy movement and the school believe that education is a human right and is much more than a piece of paper, or a means to a job.  It is this unique relationship with the Occupy movement that makes us stand out because we aren't simply looking to provide a useful service to the community but we envision this to be the first step in many when it comes to shifting the education paradigm from the business model that treats students and knowledge as commodities to the academic which views knowledge and information as that which should be shared and free to access by all to improve your own life and the lives around you.

Partnerships with Community Organizations

Occupy Homes
Chicago Freedom School
Blacks in Green
Foundation for a United Front
The Abundance Project
Trees R Beautiful
The Bloom Collective
SHoP
STOP

Bright Technology


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