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Library Guides

Freedom School Project: Workshops 2016-17

"The Little Things for the Littlest Folk: Facilitating Healthy Learning Spaces for Our Children" with Assistant Professor Elías Ortega-Aponte and Candace Simpson

Minister Candace Simpson will explore the importance of simple interactions as a method of bringing about social change. What do children and families need to feel safe, loved and heard? What are some ways that alternative education spaces can help to disrupt the cradle-to-prison pipeline? How can we foster opportunities for meaningful fellowship and future-making? Using her experience as site coordinator for the Concord Freedom School in Brooklyn, Minister Simpson will use storytelling and an interactive discussion to enable participants to develop their own foundational organizing skills.

1. Emilie Townes, Everydayness, Section IV

2. Nice Is Not  Enough: Defining Caring for Students of Color, Sonia Nieto
3. Black Girls Breaking Silence on School Push-out

“Community Organizer with Rebel Imagination” with Iris Morales

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!  was the rallying cry of activists like the Black Panthers, the Young Lords and others in the 1960s who galvanized grassroots communities to fight for social justice. How did these organizations go about mobilizing thousands of people and building a movement? The workshop will examine key organizing principles and strategies through the experience of the Young Lords chapter in New York.

“Breaking the Silence: Freeing the Voice and Body” with Professor Heather Murray Elkins, the Rev. Eyesha Marable of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and her dancers

This workshop is designed to engage participants in the insights found in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s anti-war sermon, where he named the “three giants” of racism, militarism and poverty. We will provide ways to voice hope, speak truth and move with freedom using the performing arts.

“Subversive Music for the Soul: Singing as a Communal Act of Spiritual Resistance”

“Free Exercise: The Foundations of Religious Freedom in America” with Associate Professor Jonathan Golden

Many of the first Europeans arriving in North America came seeking refuge from religious persecution, and even before the United States became a nation, a culture of tolerance and respect for religious diversity was evolving. The Founding Fathers went out of their way to articulate a vision of religious pluralism, evident in their personal writings as well as our nation’s founding documents. Yet, a recent rise in religious intolerance and bias in the U.S. threatens these core American values. We will learn about the principles of religious pluralism in the U.S. and what we can do to preserve, uphold and advance those principles.

“Politics Outside of the Ballot: Organizing for Change.” With Lizzie Foley from NJ 11th for Change  & Professor Kesha More

NJ 11th for Change is a grassroots, nonpartisan coalition dedicated to advocating for all citizens of the 11th Congressional District. We promote political transparency by monitoring the positions and voting record of our congressional representative, by fostering productive citizen-to-representative communication, and by demanding public accountability.

NJ 11th for Change website:

Recommended Reading:

“Street Justice: Protecting the Lives of Black and Brown Youth” with Rev Dr. Willis Johnson


Rev. Dr. Willis Johnson, senior minister of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri and author of the Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community, will be helping participants define justice within themselves, their space and reality by providing the necessary language and context to understand injustice and figure out how we; especially millennials are called to respond. Particular emphasis is directed on acknowledgement and affirmation of marginalized spaces and people. Through conversations and activities participates will leave this session with a sense that truly caring for one another requires us to be with and stand for those who have been “othered” in our society.

“Voices of Our Youth" with Professor Lisa Brenner

Original scenes, monologues, poems, songs, and dance created and performed by Newark high school students. These pieces are based on issues on the minds of today's teenagers from Newark, NJ. The high school students have been mentored by Drew University students in a course entitled Theatre in the Community. Performance 5 pm, followed by a short discussion and reception.

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