Free Minds, Free People is a national conference presented by the Education for Liberation Network that brings together teachers, young people, researchers, parents, and community-based activists/educators from across the country to build a movement to develop and promote education as a tool for liberation. The conference is a space in which these groups can learn from and teach each other by sharing knowledge, experience, and strategies.
Education for liberation prepares the most disenfranchised members of our society, in particular low-income youth and youth of color, to fight for a more just world by:
- Teaching young people the root causes of inequalities and injustices in society, and how communities have fought against them.
- Having young people develop both the belief in themselves that they can challenge those injustices and the skills necessary to do that.
- Supporting young people in taking action that leads to disenfranchised communities having more power.
The goals of Free Minds, Free People are to:
- Build and sustain relationships and solidarity among diverse people who are committed to justice-oriented education and community work
- Help participants develop and deepen their practice as learners and educators committed to justice
- Support the development of education for liberation work in the host city and region and showcase this work during the gathering
- Create a planning process and conference space that promote the leadership of those most affected by education injustice, particularly youth, as well as parents, educators and community activists
- Place education injustice and mis-education into a context of national and international attacks on communities of color and low-income communities—an assault that includes poverty, incarceration, theft of resources, exploitation of workers, displacement, violence and genocide
- Respond to the urgency of the threats our communities face by creating space to build relationships and power to support and catalyze social movements around education for liberation
- Offer participants a space that is welcoming, respectful and human, in which they can discuss, share, heal, create and collectively imagine a better world