The Baltimore Free School

The Baltimore Free School is a grassroots, collectively run and community-funded project, with a classroom inside Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse at 30 W. North Ave. Building upon a long tradition of horizontal organizing, collaborative learning and participatory education, we believe that the empowerment of people of all ages and backgrounds to share and learn is vital to the health of any community. To that end, we work toward creating a space where the exchange of ideas can occur without the exchange of money; a space where we can learn to relate to each other in new and meaningful ways. By building this infrastructure, we hope to form a microcosm of the world in which we want to live.

Click here to get started submitting a proposal. If you want to get involved with organizing the Free School, or have any questions about the project or the course process, please contact us at freeschool@redemmas.org.

Take a course

Every course offered through the Baltimore Free School is 100% free of charge to learners. Sign up online today!

Teach a course

Anyone can teach a course or organize a discussion or workshop at the Free School; propose one right now!

Support the BFS

Get involved as a volunteer organizer or make a tax-deductible donation to help us keep the doors open.

More info

Information on renting the space for private meetings, our consensus-based collective structure, our history and more.

Upcoming Courses

    • Sun, Mar 05 @ 5:00 PM
    • Sun, Feb 26 @ 5:00 PM
    • Sun, Mar 12 @ 5:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Meditation

    I will hold a safe space for your to explore your breath, your mind, and your emotions through guided sitting. Together we will pay attention, non-judgmentally, to the present moment. We will breathe in different ways. Then, those that are interested will share their different experiences of the practice.

     

     

    • Tue, Feb 21 @ 6:00 PM
    ()

    Baltimore DSA Dicussion Workshop

    (North Ave classroom)

    Knowing the Eternal

    "Knowing the Eternal" is a teaching component designed around spiritual perspectives. The sessions teach ALL humanity who desire a chance to know the Almighty various ways to do so without any reservations or exclusions. The Creator desires to have the initmate and personal relationship, even though mainstream religion has barred the doors, especially to LGBTQ persons. The class will focus on developing a relationship with the Eternal as afore stated, using the Holy Scriptures and other forms of literature to help us fulfill that possibility, using silent meditation and prayer to share our thoughts with the Creator, and forming a study guide for persons who want to dive deeper into the material. 

     

    About the Teacher:
     

    I am openly gay religious/spiritual leader that has been ordained to that which I do.  Currently, I am senior spiritual leader and visionary for Truth and Love Fellowship. Also, I am the Executive Director of Truth and Love Outreach Center, which offers supportive services to LGBTQ teens and young adults who have been displaced by their families because of their sexual orientation. My site is: www.truthandloveoutreachcenter.com.   Educationally, I have an AS in Criminal Justce from Baltimore City Community and a BS degree in English from UB. At this point, I am in continued studies around religion and spirituality. Several certifications: 1) Foundations in Biblical Studies and another in Theological Studies.  Recently, accepted at Liberty University to complete my MADiv in Psychology with a concentration in Christian Counseling.
    • Tue, Feb 28 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    "Writing for the Establishment: How to Write to Get Results from Institutions"

    Bureaucracies - whether insurance companies, power companies, or the government - use a language that is specifically designed to be inaccessible to the public. This workshop will help you write letters, applications, appeals, or e-mails using that language. Don't let your problems be ignored because you don't use corporate-speak. Bring your problem and we will work together to write a solution. 

    • Sun, Feb 26 @ 2:00 PM
    • Sun, Mar 26 @ 2:00 PM
    • Sun, Apr 23 @ 2:00 PM
    • and 3 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Baltimore Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

    The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA's members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics.

    We are activists committed to democracy as not simply one of our political values but our means of restructuring society. Our vision is of a society in which people have a real voice in the choices and relationships that affect the entirety of our lives. We call this vision democratic socialism — a vision of a more free, democratic and humane society.
     

    WE MEET EVERY 4th SUNDAY OF THE MONTH

    Our Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreDSA/

    Our Email:
    baltimoredsa@gmail.com

    • Sun, Feb 26 @ 5:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Technology, Value, and the World System

    Technology, Value, and the World System: A Reading Group at the Baltimore Free School

    Convened by John Duda and Yousuf Al-Bulushi

    Remember immaterial labor?  What ever happened to those cognitive networks of production in common that were going to usher in a new era of digital communism?  The tragic euphoria of dot-com theory is repeating itself today in farcical calls for a universal basic income, as venture capitalists and wide-eyed leftists alike sell us a vision of post-work in which the commodity manages somehow to still function just like it used to before the robots ushered in our collective era of leisure. Is the abolition of capitalism really just a few more apps and “disruptions” away?  Or could it be that the relationship between labor, technology, and the production of value is far more complicated than the latest round of digital bedtime stories would have us believe, especially when we locate this intersection in the context of truly global relations of production and exchange?

     

    Over the course of this reading group, we’ll dive deep into these issues from a perspective grounded in critical social theory.  As we explore thematic clusters of shorter articles and excerpts, we’ll also work our way through the majority of Moishe Postone’s Time, Labor, and Social Domination.  Doing so will help provide a theoretical frame of reference to help understand why, as Postone notes, “increased productivity results neither in a corresponding increase in social wealth nor in a corresponding decrease in labour time, but in the constitution of a new base level of productivity.” We believe that a rigorous theoretical approach is necessary in order to illuminate the hidden ground of this counterintuitive historical trajectory, and we think Postone offers a useful starting point to do so. (A little more on Postone.)  This is a reading group, not a class that’s mapped out in advance—so the precise effects of reading this particular theoretical counterpoint in relation to or against the more grounded thematic material is not known in advance—but we’ll figure it out together!  We will make an effort to have texts available either for purchase at a discount at Red Emma’s, or, where possible, in digital form to make this group maximally affordable.

    • Sat, Feb 25 @ 12:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Nations fighting for Autonomy with Strvnge Encounters

    Understanding what it means to be an American Muslim and challenging mainstream media’s portrayal of Islam.

    • Wed, Mar 08 @ 10:00 AM
    • Wed, Apr 12 @ 10:00 AM
    • Wed, May 10 @ 10:00 AM
    (North Ave classroom)

    La Leche League: Mother-to-Mother Breastfeeding Support

    Our Mission is to help mothers in Baltimore to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

     

    • Wed, Feb 22 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Mar 22 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Apr 26 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    ()

    Cooperative Study Group: Beginners Helping Beginners

    • Sat, Mar 11 @ 4:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Jacobin Reading Group

    Are you interested in meeting with other people in Baltimore to discuss articles from Jacobin magazine? If so, then you should join the Jacobin reading group!! We meet about once a month. The discussions are lively, non-doctrinaire, and open to everyone. For more information, send an email to baltimore.jacobin@gmail.com.