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Investing in Education for Liberation

Dear Network Member,

The Education for Liberation Network believes that education means providing opportunities—particularly for low-income youth and youth of color—to understand and challenge the injustices they face. Our commitment to teach freedom feels increasingly urgent with each passing day. As you work and plan to meet the needs in your own communities and spaces, the Network is here to support that work and connect it and you to the national stage. 
In order for us to reinforce and strengthen that work, we need people to help sustain us financially.  Please consider donating to our independent organization - one not owned by a foundation, corporation, or institution.  Our independence allows our work to be driven by the priorities of grassroots educators, activists, and youth, and we are able to actively create space for local work to have national impact.   


monthly sustainer button              make a one time donation

 Be sure to check out our thank you gifts below!

Donating to the Education for Liberation Network means that you are sustaining the organization that convenes the Free Minds Free People conference, that amplifies efforts like the National Student Bill of Rights and the No History is Illegal campaign, and that produces our annual plan book for teachers, Planning to Change the World.  We connect people to people, people to knowledge, and people to resources.  None of it is possible without your support. As we begin 2018, we look forward to continuing our network's efforts to sustain, connect, and support folks in the struggle for educational justice. 

Our goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of the year. Can you help us reach that goal?

We have some great thank you gifts to express our appreciation for your support (see below to learn more). Click here to become a monthly sustainer or make a one-time donation or see below to learn how to pay by check.

A contribution to the Network goes a long way. As a large Network with lean staff and little overhead, we accomplish a lot on a very small budget. We achieve this through strategic partnerships with allies and through the hard work of Network volunteers. The effect of your contribution is multiplied because it impacts not only the Network as an organization, but the many organizations and individuals across the country that our work helps support. See below to learn more about our impact.

Please invest in the future of education for liberation by making as generous a contribution as you are able. While we have thank you gifts for certain donation amounts, no donation is too small and any contribution is greatly appreciated.

In love and struggle,


Donate to the Education for Liberation Network



Free Minds, Free People logo
1,100 people attended the 2017 
conference in Baltimore

2017-18 Cover

3,500 educators use the 
plan book nationwide

 More than 13,000 people reached by our work


We are more than just numbers. The network impacts people in many ways: 

"Education for Liberation has done an excellent job of gathering the stakeholders and promoting dialogue which encourages people across the United States to take back control of our means of education."
—Social worker, MI

Free Minds, Free People "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

"I love the dates and classroom ideas. [Planning to Change the World] is one of the most amazing resources for social justice I have ever used, and I teach 1st grade."
—Debbie, elementary school teacher

"Our youth learned so much and have begun to think critically about issues that affect them yet they didn't think about, like incarceration." 
—Youth worker, LA

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

The plan book "understands that education is freedom and makes me feel supported in the classroom by reminding me that I'm not alone in my struggles for social justice."
Samantha, middle school teacher



For donations of $50 or more:


Empty Seat in Class

An Empty Seat in the Class: Teaching and Learning After the Death of a Student
by Rick Ayers

The death of a student, especially to gun violence, is a life-changing experience that occurs with more and more frequency in America’s schools. For each of these tragedies, there is a classroom and there is a teacher. Yet student death is often a forbidden subject, removed from teacher education and professional development classes where the curriculum is focused instead on learning about standards, lesson plans, and pedagogy. What can and should teachers do when the unbearable happens? An Empty Seat in Class illuminates the tragedy of student death and suggests ways of dealing and healing within the classroom community.


Ghosts in the Schoolyard

Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side
by Eve L. Ewing

In Ghosts in the Schoolyard, Eve Ewing begins with a story of systemic racism, inequality, bad faith, and distrust that stretches deep into Chicago history. Rooting her exploration in the historic African American neighborhood of Bronzeville, Ewing reveals that this issue is about much more than just schools. Black communities see the closing of their schools—schools that are certainly less than perfect but that are theirs—as one more in a long line of racist policies. The fight to keep them open is yet another front in the ongoing struggle of black people in America to build successful lives and achieve true self-determination.


Lift Us Up

Lift Us Up Don't Push Us Out: Voices From the Front Lines of the Educational Justice Movement Teaching 
edited by Mark Warren with David Goodman

Illuminating the struggles and triumphs of the emerging educational justice movement, this anthology tells the stories of how black and brown parents, students, educators, and their allies are fighting back against systemic inequities and the mistreatment of children of color in low-income communities. It offers a social justice alternative to the corporate reform movement that seeks to privatize public education through expanding charter schools and voucher programs. To address the systemic racism in our education system and in the broader society, the contributors argue that what is needed is a movement led by those most affected by injustice—students of color and their parents—that builds alliances across sectors and with other social justice movements addressing immigration, LGBTQ rights, labor rights, and the school-to-prison pipeline.


The Long Term

The Long Term: Resisting Life Sentences Working Toward Freedom 
edited by Alice Kim, Erica R. Meiners, Audrey Petty, Jill Petty, Beth E. Richie, and Sarah Ross

Long Term Offenders, or LTOs, is the state’s term for those it condemns to effective death by imprisonment. Often serving sentences of sixty to eighty years, LTOs bear the brunt of the bipartisan embrace of mass incarceration heralded by the “tough on crime” agenda of the 1990s and 2000s. Like the rest of the United States’ prison population—the world’s highest per capita—they are disproportionately poor and non-white. The Long Term brings these often silenced voices to light, offering a powerful indictment of the prison-industrial complex from activists, scholars, and those directly surviving and resisting these sentences. In showing the devastation caused by a draconian prison system, the essays also highlight the humanity and courage of the people most affected.


The Lost Education of Horace Tate

The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought For Justice in Schools
by Vanessa Siddle Walker

For two years an aging Dr. Horace Tate—a former teacher, principal, and state senator—told Emory University professor Vanessa Siddle Walker about his clandestine travels on unpaved roads under the cover of night, meeting with other educators and with Dr. King, Georgia politicians, and even U.S. presidents. Dramatically, on his deathbed, he asked Walker to return to his office in Atlanta, in a building that was once the headquarters of another kind of southern strategy, one driven by integrity and equality. Just days after Dr. Tate’s passing in 2002, Walker honored his wish. Thus began Walker’s sixteen-year project to uncover the network of educators behind countless battles—in courtrooms, schools, and communities—for the education of black children. The Lost Education of Horace Tate is a monumental work that offers fresh insight into the southern struggle for human rights, revealing little-known accounts of leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson, as well as hidden provocateurs like Horace Tate.

Millennial Teachers of Color

Millennial Teachers of Color
edited by Mary Dilworth  

Millennial Teachers of Color explores the opportunities and challenges for creating and sustaining a healthy teaching force in the United States. Millennials are the largest generational cohort in American history, with approximately ninety million members and, of these, roughly 43 percent are people of color. This book, edited by prominent teacher educator Mary E. Dilworth, considers the unique qualities, challenges, and opportunities posed by that large population for the teaching field. Find out more here.



Planning to Change the World: A Teacher Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers
edited by Gretchen Brion-Meisels, Margaret Kavanagh, Thomas Nikundiwe, and Carla Shalaby

Planning to Change the World: A Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers 2018-2019 is a plan book for educators who believe their students can, will, and already do change the world. It is designed to help teachers translate their vision of a just education into concrete classroom activities.



Teachers Bridging Difference

Teachers Bridging Difference: Exploring Identity With Art
by Marit Dewhurst

Teachers Bridging Difference describes how educators can move out of their comfort zones and practice connecting with others across differences to become culturally responsive teachers. Based on a course developed for preservice teachers, the book illustrates how educators can draw on the visual arts as a resource to explore their own identities and those of their students, and how to increase their understanding of the ways our lives intersect across sociocultural differences. Unique and timely, Teachers Bridging Difference is an arts-based tool kit for teachers interested in exploring issues of identity and difference as a foundation for creating a more just and equal society. Find out more here.


Toward What Justice?

Toward What Justice?: Describing Diverse Dreams of Justice in Education
edited by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang

Toward What Justice? brings together compelling ideas from a wide range of intellectual traditions in education to discuss corresponding and sometimes competing definitions of justice. Leading scholars articulate new ideas and challenge entrenched views of what justice means when considered from the perspectives of diverse communities. Their chapters, written boldly and pressing directly into the difficult and even strained questions of justice, reflect on the contingencies and incongruences at work when considering what justice wants and requires. At its heart, Toward What Justice? is a book about justice projects, and the incommensurable investments that social justice projects can make. It is a must-have volume for scholars and students working at the intersection of education and Indigenous studies, critical disability studies, climate change research, queer studies, and more.


You Can't Fire Bad Ones

"You Can't Fire the Bad Ones!": And 18 Other Myths About Teachers, Teachers Unions, and Public Education
by William Ayers, Crystal Laura, and Rick Ayers

Three distinguished educators, scholars, and activists flip the script on many enduring and popular myths about teachers, teachers’ unions, and education that permeate our culture. By unpacking these myths, and underscoring the necessity of strong and vital public schools as a common good, this "must-read" (Gloria Ladson-Billings) challenge readers—whether parents, community members, policymakers, union activists, or educators themselves—to rethink their assumptions. Myths covered include “Teachers’ Unions Are the Biggest Obstacle to Improving Education Today,” “Good Teaching Is Entirely Color-Blind,” “Teacher Activists Are Troublemakers,” “Too Many Bad Teachers Have Created a Public School System That Is Utterly Broken,” and 14 more.



For donations of $75 or more:

Pedagogy Teacher Activism

The Pedagogy of Teacher Activism: Portraits of Four Teachers for Justice
by Keith Catone (SIGNED COPY!)

Through the artful science of portraiture, The Pedagogy of Teacher Activism presents the stories of four teacher activists—how they are and have become social change agents—to uncover important pedagogical underpinnings of teacher activism. Embedded in their stories are moments of political clarity and consciousness, giving rise to their purpose as teacher activists. The narratives illuminate how both inner passions and those stirred by caring relationships with others motivate their work, while the intentional ways in which they attempt to disrupt power relations give shape to their approaches to teacher activism. Knowing their work will never truly be done and that the road they travel is often difficult, the teacher activists considered here persist because of the hope and possibility that their work might change the world. Like many pre-service educators or undergraduates contemplating teaching as a vocation, these teacher activists were not born ready for the work that they do. Yet by mining their biographical histories and trajectories of political development, this book illuminates the pedagogy of teacher activism that guides their work. 

For donations of $100 or more

The New Press Bundle: American Hate + A History of America in Ten Strikes + Lighting the Fires of Freedom 


American Hate

American Hate: Survivors Speak Out
edited by Arjun Singh Sethi

In American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, Arjun Singh Sethi, a community activist and civil rights lawyer, chronicles the stories of individuals affected by hate. In a series of powerful, unfiltered testimonials, survivors tell their stories in their own words and describe how the bigoted rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have intensified bullying, discrimination, and even violence toward them and their communities. A necessary book for these times, American Hate explores this tragic moment in U.S. history by empowering survivors whose voices white supremacists and right-wing populist movements have tried to silence. It also provides ideas and practices for resistance that all of us can take to combat hate both now and in the future.


History of America in Ten Strikes

A History of America in Ten Strikes
by Erik Loomis

Powerful and accessible, A History of America in Ten Strikes challenges all of our contemporary assumptions around labor, unions, and American workers. In this brilliant book, labor historian Erik Loomis recounts ten critical workers’ strikes in American labor history that everyone needs to know about (and then provides an annotated list of the 150 most important moments in American labor history in the appendix). From the Lowell Mill Girls strike in the 1830s to Justice for Janitors in 1990, these labor uprisings do not just reflect the times in which they occurred, but speak directly to the present moment. In crystalline narratives, labor historian Erik Loomis lifts the curtain on workers’ struggles, giving us a fresh perspective on American history from the boots up.


Lighting the Fires of Freedom

Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement
by Janet Dewart Bell

In Lighting the Fires of Freedom Janet Dewart Bell shines a light on women’s all-too-often overlooked achievements in the Movement. Through wide-ranging conversations with nine women, several now in their nineties with decades of untold stories, we hear what ignited and fueled their activism, as Bell vividly captures their inspiring voices. Lighting the Fires of Freedom offers these deeply personal and intimate accounts of extraordinary struggles for justice that resulted in profound social change, stories that are vital and relevant today. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Lighting the Fires of Freedom is a vital document for understanding the Civil Rights Movement and an enduring testament to the vitality of women’s leadership during one of the most dramatic periods of American history.




To donate online please visit and click "Donate."

Please make checks payable to Education for Liberation Network. Mail the check to: Thomas Nikundiwe, Education for Liberation Network, 15493 Piedmont Street, Detroit MI 48223. If you would like a gift, please be sure to indicate which one when you mail the check.


A HUGE thank you to all our friends and allies who donated thank you gifts for this fundraising campaign:

Bill Ayers, Rick Ayers, Beacon Press, Keith Catone, Marit Dewhurst, Mary Dilworth, Eve Ewing, Harvard Education Press, Haymarket Books, Crystal Laura, Erica Meiners, Leigh Patel, Teachers College Press, The New Press, Eve Tuck, University of Chicago Press, Vanessa Siddle Walker, Mark Warren, K. Wayne Yang.

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