by Ana Amaya (CFS) & Maia Cho
The Chicago Freedom School (CFS) has been a central actor in the Chicago organizing scene for years. Inspired by the freedom school model pioneered by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during Freedom Summer, the Chicago Freedom School brings young people of color together to become social justice activists, organizers, and leaders. Through dialogues and healing, they enhance Chicago youth's connection to their histories and dismantle the systems that oppress marginalized youth.
In one of their programs - the fellowship program - CFS selects 20 youth of color (ages 13-17) to receive training to become community changemakers. Participants develop skills and analysis for dismantling injustice, learn about past and present social movements, and grow from "being themselves, crying, laughing, playing games, meditating, doing yoga, talking, doing art and music, dancing and many other things!" (Stipend and CTA fare provided.)
Aside from all the hard work CFS continues to do, they have an event coming up on 11/6 to pay tribute to past and present movements for justice and to honor local organizers and young people making a difference in their communities. Participants will eat dinner together, dance, and build community. Awards are given to honor the Chicago organizers of the year, and all the proceeds from the event will go towards CFS' future work.
Event information here.
Check CFS out at their website and social media (linked on the organizations page) when you have the chance!