PSAT for 7-2-13: Join Free Minds, Free People

psat_logoWhat could be a better way to celebrate Independence Day in Chicago? Last day to register is Monday July 8.

More on the July 11-14 conference in Chicago below.

You are also cordially invited to attend a free FMFP event:

Join us as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Chicago School Boycott, the largest civil rights protest in Chicago history.

In 1963 an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 students stayed out of school to protest segregation and inequality. As momentum builds in the contemporary struggle against inequality in education, we are wise to pause and reflect on the lessons from this critical historical moment.

On Thursday, July 11 we honor this history and consider its implications for the present with a fun and inspiring evening that includes:

·         A screening of clips from an upcoming documentary, ’63 Boycott (take a look at some original footage of the march

·         A performance of Shades of Mississippi, an interactive theater experience of freedom songs, speeches and testimonies based on the July 20, 1963 mass meeting where the direct action campaign to desegregate Chicago’s public schools was launched (for a sneak peak of the performance, check out this video

·         A question and answer session with a teacher, community activist, parent and student from the 1963 boycott as well as a contemporary education justice activist.

Honoring the 1963 Chicago School Boycott is the opening event for Free Minds, Free People, a national conference on education for liberation. Register today (!

Date:                     Thursday, July 11, 2013
Time:                     7:30 pm

About the FMFP conference:

Dear Educator/Activist,

Free Minds, Free People ( is a national conference convened by the Education for Liberation Network 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.

The gathering will take place July 11-14 in Chicago, a city on the leading edge of the fight for education justice. We are excited to offer people who care about education the opportunity to connect, learn, and plan for action in this important city. We anticipate about 1,000 educators and activists will converge in Chicago. You don’t want to miss it!

Here are some highlights:

·         Our Keynote Speaker is Jitu Brown, education organizer for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. Our Plenary Panel will include Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, Sean Arce, former lead teacher of the banned Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, Karran Harper Royal, a parent activist from New Orleans, and a youth from the Philadelphia Student Union.

·         The schedule includes more than 70 workshops and panels on a wide variety of topics.

·         This year we are deepening the conference’s role as a movement building space by organizing a series of assemblies. We invited organizations and individuals working on a specific issue within education for liberation to organize  a convening in which participants can build toward national connectedness and collective action. We have several assemblies on issues including the school-to-prison pipeline, teacher education, social justice unionism, school closings, expanding Ethnic Studies and challenging Teach for America.

·         Our Radical Professional Development will offer intensive training to teachers in how to become teacher activists both inside and outside the classroom.

You can sign up for education justice workshops, assemblies, site visits and other conference activities when you register online. Many of these activities have limited space, so sign up soon to reserve your spot. Visit for descriptions of activities and to register. The last day for online registration is Monday, July 8.

The Free Minds, Free People Planning Team

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.