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Mission and Purpose


The Education for Liberation Network is a national coalition of teachers, community activists, researchers, youth and parents who believe a good education should teach people—particularly low-income youth and youth of color—how to understand and challenge the injustices their communities face. The network aims to help improve the practice of Education for Liberation by bringing people together to learn from each other’s experiences. The network provides a space for members to share knowledge and work together to create tools for liberatory education. By building alliances that cross the boundaries of geography, occupation and age we hope to nurture communities of thoughtful, socially-engaged people and to maximize the impact of their work.


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 causes of inequalities and injustices in society and how communities have fought against them.

  • Having the 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.

Hear how participants in the Free Minds, Free People conference answered the question, "What is Education for Liberation?"

We aim to build a community in which members:

  • Are active in developing the practice of Education for Liberation.

  • Interact with each other as equals with the understanding that all of us—regardless of what we do or who we are—are both teachers and learners.

  • Are prepared to challenge ourselves and each other to figure out the most effective methods of reaching our goals. We encourage an active dialogue between on-the-ground experience and analytical research.

  • Have the space they need to imagine a new, better world.

As educators and learners committed to the struggle for equality and justice we hope to:

  • Build individual and community awareness of the internal and external forces (psychological, historical, social, political and economic) that impact our daily lives.

  • Cultivate cultural knowledge and pride and encourage a positive sense of personal and collective identity.

  • Place education in a context of the struggle for social justice and connect it to action that leads to social change.

  • Increase the number of people and organizations practicing Education for Liberation and help them become better at it.

  • Promote the transformation of existing institutions and the creation of new ones that reflect the values of Education for Liberation.

Across the country educators are increasingly frustrated with a system of education that disadvantages low-income youth and youth of color. Many are trying to fight back by developing their own curricula and methods that reflect both their care for young people and their ideas about justice and fairness. But these educators often find themselves isolated, with few resources, little support and limited connection to others who share their concerns.

The Education for Liberation Network aims to bring together this diverse group of people, united by their passion for this work, to learn and build strength from each other. This is a critical first step in the process of transforming ourselves from a collection of individuals trying to make a difference in our neighborhoods or schools into a strong movement for education justice.


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