The African Nova Scotian Freedom School

The African Nova Scotian Freedom School 
Summer Program 2020

The African Nova Scotian Freedom School is a summer program that was founded in 2020  by longtime, Black community educators in Nova Scotia who believe in the fundamental brilliance, aptitude, and leadership capacity of our children and teens, as well as culturally-grounded curricula that guides and supports these traits. We believe in working together in a non-hierarchical fashion, sharing decision-making collectively, and honor the unique strengths and assets each person brings to this community project. We are grounded in a commitment of service to our people. For us, as beloved educator Wade Smith often said, giving back "is not a choice, but an obligation" to our community and crucially, the next generation.

The African Nova Scotian Freedom School was co-founded by Karen Hudson, Wendie Poitras Wilson, Malik Adams, Marsha Hudson-Ash, Venessa Brooks, Rashida Symonds, Kim Cain, and Rachel Zellars

What is a Freedom School?
The African Nova Scotian Freedom School (ANSFS) arises from the long tradition of popular education learning spaces created to affirm and reflect the lives of Black children and the rich histories of Black people in North America. Historically, Freedom Schools arose during the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi and other parts of the US South as educational and organizing spaces that developed and practiced liberatory pedagogical practices. Recently, in cities throughout North America, Black community organizations have rebirthed the conceptual model of Freedom Schools, such as FREEDOMSCHOOL Toronto, to ensure the most inclusive and vibrant learning environments for all Black children – including neurodiverse, gender non-conforming and gender creative children, and queer children. Freedom Schools centre affirmative histories of Black struggle, resistance, and freedom-making in North America, and help children and teens understand how to become organizers in the service of their families and communities. The ANSFS continues this legacy of Freedom Schools for Black children and teens.

What is this fundraiser for?
Given the social restrictions of COVID-19 and the absence of summer programming for teens, the ANSFS will offer a month-long, online curriculum during the month of August for 12-18 year old Black and African Nova Scotian students. A curriculum focusing on the lessons of our current global atmosphere of resistance against anti-black state violence, and the long history of activism led by African Nova Scotians will provide historical and social justice education that conveys the significance of these struggles and prepares students with the fortitude to lead. This year's theme is "Shaping the Change We Need: #BLM and African Nova Scotian Histories of Resistance." Our curriculum and application form will be available beginning July 13.

To learn more about the ANSFS, visit us here: 

Funding is needed to cover:
- Salaries for curriculum preparation for ten (10) educators and facilitators 
- Stipend for web design, promotions, and tech support 
- Materials, as needed, for students to participate in program 
- School supplies for students at conclusion of program 
- Graduation ceremony at the conclusion of program


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Rachel Zellars 
Halifax, NS
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