Mission and Goals


Free Minds, Free People is a national conference that brings together teachers, high school and college students, 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. We seek to develop ways of teaching and learning both in and out of school that help us to build a more just society. The conference is a space in which these groups can learn from and teach each other, sharing knowledge, experience and strategies.

The first conference took place in Chicago in 2007, the second in Houston in 2009, and the third in Providence in 2011. We are looking forward to returning to Chicago in 2013.

Questions about the conference? Please contact us at info@freemindsfreepeople.org.


The goals of Free Minds, Free People are to:

  • Build and sustain relationships among people from different communities with a commitment 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
  • Act as a catalyst for the continued growth of social movements around education for liberation
  • 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.


Most amazing conference ever attended.
—Teacher, CA

Very well organized and fun! It was stimulating and very interactive. The people doing the workshops were amazing.
—High school student, IL

I will remember how the students perceive their schools and give some space for that in my classroom.
—Teacher, NM

I learned wonderful activities and met wonderful people/possibilities for collaboration that will greatly enhance our program. Thanks!
—Community-based educator/organizer, DC

For me, the participation of young people was at the top of my list. There was a lot of great grassroots, radical and transformative energy.
—University faculty, MD

The diversity! As a white woman, I was finally dialoguing with other people from very different backgrounds than mine.
—College student, IL

It was a great conference. I loved it. It was like we all had something in common and we shared our struggles and achievements. Inspiring.
—High School student, UT

The conference gave us time to think big, which is always helpful and necessary.
—Community-based educator/organizer, IL