WHO WE ARE
Freedom University is a modern-day freedom school based in Atlanta. We provide rigorous college preparation classes, college and scholarship application assistance, and leadership development for undocumented students in Georgia.
Our mission is to empower undocumented youth and fulfill their human right to education.
We believe that all human beings – regardless of race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or citizenship status – have a right to education. We uphold Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to education and that higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
We believe that human rights are universal, inalienable, and interdependent. Regardless of where people are born or what borders they may cross, human beings have rights by virtue of their humanity that can never be taken away. Because human rights are interdependent, we believe that our movements for human dignity are interdependent as well. As such, Freedom University partners with human rights organizations working to advance racial justice, gender equality, workers’ rights, indigenous rights, and freedom in all its forms.
THEORY OF CHANGE
We believe that radical, democratic change in education occurs through grassroots mobilization of teachers and students and the empowerment of those most directly impacted by injustice. We believe that movements are most effective when waged with diverse allies working in a spirit of solidarity based on an analysis of intersecting oppression, rather than charity. We recognize that mobilization occurs after cognitive liberation takes place, which requires the recognition of systemic injustice, the assertion of human rights, and the belief in change through collective action. This consciousness development is key to our liberatory education model, and is developed alongside opportunities for commitment and direct action. The systems we seek to change include systemic racism, xenophobia, and global apartheid, which work together to justify exclusion, powerlessness, and inequity in the United States and around the world. We also seek to change ageism, which disregards the revolutionary power of organized youth. Our theory of change is symbolized most powerfully in the image of the monarch butterfly, which not only represents transformation and change, but resilience in migration and a disregard for artificial borders.
Georgia is recognized globally as a historic epicenter in the struggle for human rights. Georgia is home to two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Jimmy Carter - and the cradle of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. In this tradition, Freedom University works actively with students, educators, supporters, policy makers, and other social justice stakeholders to advance the rights of undocumented youth in Georgia and across the country. Our strategy is multidimensional, participatory, and highly disciplined. Our strategy involves:
Creative non-violent civil disobedience that highlights modern segregation and pressures the Georgia Board of Regents to repeal Policies 4.1.6 and 4.3.4
Campaigns to secure fair admissions and sanctuary policies at private universities across the country
Legal action at the federal level that seeks remedy for violations of undocumented students’ right to equal protection under the law
International human rights advocacy that involves coordination with international legal mechanisms and the United Nations system
Through strategic direct actions, policy campaigns, and local, national, and international partnerships, we are changing college admissions policies and transforming the public debate on the human right to higher education.