Freedom Schools for Youth
Freedom Schools and African-Centered Education
Like the Mississippi Freedom Schools, initially launched by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as part of the 1964 Freedom Summer to provide effective educational experiences that were not available to African American children in the public schools of the South, the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools (DIFS) Movement will respond to Detroit children’s needs for positive educational activities to fill the vacuum created by the dismantling of DPS through Emergency Management.
Historically, the goal of Freedom Schools has been to create educational experiences for students to enable them to challenge the myths of our society, to perceive more clearly its realities and to find alternatives, and ultimately, new directions for action. Each DIFS session will be organized with two focuses:
- Tutoring in core subjects and skills;
- Engagement in learning activities that are inspiring and culturally enriching, which encourage students to strive to reach the full potential of their abilities and talents.
African-centered education has been proven to be effective in building self-esteem and the capacity to thrive intellectually among African American children. Therefore, we will include the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles) as the teaching framework for DIFS:
1. Umoja (Unity): to strive and maintain unity on seven levels: self, family, community, neighborhood, nation, race and world.
2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): to define, name, and speak for ourselves, instead of being defined, named, and spoken for by others.
3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): to build and maintain our community together, and to make our brothers and sisters’ problems our problems, and solve them together.
4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses, and to profit together from them.
5. Nia (Purpose): to make, as our collective vocation, the building, and developing, of our community, in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. Kuumba (Creativity): to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
7. Imani (Faith): to believe with all our hearts in our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.