Self-Transformation through Reflection and Action
Nonviolence is not the absence of war. It is the presence of peace with justice. The Freedom Center facilitates civic engagement in acts for peace, community solidarity, a stronger democracy and advocating for and practicing activity that teaches respect for and caring of our home, planet earth. The curriculum, entitled Democracy Education, develops cultural power through reflection and action. Democracy Education prepares individuals and groups to create meaning. Learning takes place in conjunction with relevance and critical problem solving. The curriculum promotes common-good values of interdependence, other-interestedness, mutuality and the global pursuit of ecological sustainability.
Nonviolence Leadership Program The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center provides Democracy Education The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center develops conduct and character changes through the pursuit of developing community leadership, as the most viable resource to solving serious problems facing our schools, neighborhoods, and communities. With a focus on serving youth, the Freedom Center cultivates leadership through community education campaigns, accessing lessons, values, and conducts associated with non-violent social change. We have found that this personal transformation through social participation approach to teaching and learning reaps long term, sustainable outcomes.
Leadership Academy The Freedom Center Leadership Academy takes place on the campus of Merritt College on Saturdays, and most school breaks, including Thanksgiving Break, Winter Holiday, Spring break and Summer. Often in a residential format, students spend days at a time engaged in the study and practice of developing the self that is of ther selves—someone’e daughter, son, neighbor, co-worker or friend. Dr. King says that too many of us spend too much time, energy, and money on our external selves, and not enough time, energy and money on the development of the inner realm. The Leadership Academy develops the self that is of, for and dependent upon others.
Professional Development The Freedom Center conducts professional development — teacher training and public service seminars – addressing the need for culturally proficient social and collective engagement that strengthens community. Democracy relies on education to prepare all young people with the character and consciousness required to be able to participate in meaningful contribution toward the well-being of others. Freedom Center classes prepare individuals and groups to create meaning. Learning takes place in conjunction with relevance and critical problem solving. The curriculum promotes common-good values of interdependence, other-interestedness, mutuality, equity, and the global pursuit of ecological sustainability.
Outcomes are derived from a compilation of school data: attendance records, grades, disciplinary records, drop out statistics and in some cases, standardized test scores. Freedom Center staff set academic goals with each youth, monitor their progress at school and provide support to achieve those goals. This may include matching up the students with tutors. Youth and Family Staff document goals and progress for each youth, keeping logs and journals of attendance, school data, home visit logs and other evidence of service provided to youth and their families.
Highlights of the programming reveal dramatic outcomes in student academic standing, first generation access to higher education, substantive character development and a unique blending of community based values of service, discipline, humility and the importance of hard work. Examples of specific results of our work can be found here.