The Baltimore Free School

We need your help to make the Free School sustainable! Click here to help fund the work of organizing and bringing new educational technology to our classroom!

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.

After a hiatus in 2013, the BFS is re-opening in a brand new classroom inside Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse. We are now accepting proposals for classes starting in January of 2014; just 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.

If you’d like to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project, including new technology for the classroom and funding for dedicated community outreach, please donate here.

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

    • Wed, Apr 23 @ 6:00 PM
    • Wed, Apr 30 @ 6:00 PM
    • Wed, May 07 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Health and Society

    "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely   the absence of disease or infirmity"   -World Health Organization

     

    Despite being one of the wealthiest nations in the world and spending a great deal of money on healthcare, the health status of our nation is suboptimal. Why is that?

    In this course we will explore the interplay between the way our society is structured and our state of health as one explanation for this quesiton.

    • Wed, May 14 @ 7:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Spanish Language Reading Group

    A reading group of Spanish-language literature that meets monthly to discuss a pre-assigned work, in Spanish. Works include contemporary writers. Intermediate to native speakers welcome. Join us for a fun way to improve your Spanish and deepen your knowledge about the culture and language of Spanish-speaking countries. 

    • Sat, Apr 26 @ 12:00 PM
    • Sat, May 03 @ 12:00 PM
    • Sat, May 10 @ 12:00 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Arabic 1

    A continuation of our Intro to Arabic class, Arabic 1 will lead participants through both spoken colloquial & classical written Arabic, as well as further introducing them to Arab political and social movement/activist history and culture to promote solidarity and understanding.

    • Tue, Apr 29 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, May 06 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Physics for Philosophers (and anybody else)

    An exploration of general relativity, quantum mechanics, and cosmology and how they have impacted our lives and thought.

    • Sun, Apr 27 @ 3:00 PM
    • Sun, May 04 @ 3:00 PM
    • Sun, May 11 @ 3:00 PM
    • and 1 more session
    (North Ave classroom)

    Social Justice Poetry Workshops (for youth 13-21)

    Dew More Baltimore will hold free weekly poetry workshops for youth 13-21 every Sunday from 3:30 to 6:00 PM.

    Workshops will be led by professional poets and published authors. Guest advocates and activists will be invited to provide social justice workshops. 

    Through thought provoking workshops participants will learn how to use their art to address the social ills impacting them and/or the larger community. 

     

    • Wed, Apr 30 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Black feminism and intersectionality

    Organized by the Baltimore branch of the International Socialist Organization

    The Baltimore branch of the International Socialist Organization is getting together to begin educating ourselves about Black feminism and Intersectionality. None of us are experts and nobody is "teaching" the class, but rather we will go through the material collectively. We invite anyone with any level of experience with this topic to join us and share your perspective! We will start by reading Black feminism and intersectionality by Sharon Smith and the Combahee River Collective Statement for the first session, and then read Andrea Smith and Kimberlé Crenshaw for the second session.

    • Sun, Apr 27 @ 6:30 PM
    • Sun, May 18 @ 6:30 PM
    • Sun, Jun 08 @ 6:30 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Feminist Writing and Support Group

    An ongoing workshop focused on exploring feminist topics through writing. While we would like the group to generate topics, questions, and ideas from within, we hope to bring certain topics to each session, including (but not limited to): female bodies and body image, wellness and healing, relationships and singlehood, female orgasms and sexuality, and gender-based violence. To explore these topics, we hope to use letter-writing, prompted writing activities, collective and group writing activities, and sharing. We intend the class to be a feminist support group for female-identified and queer individuals.

    • Sat, May 03 @ 2:30 PM
    • Sat, May 10 @ 2:30 PM
    • Sat, May 17 @ 2:30 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Public Safety Collective

    A Baltimore ‘Families Against Police Brutality’ Bloc initiative; a collective of friends, families and victims of police brutality, from both the living and dead, grieving proactively to uplift the community.

    The Public Safety Collective is an autonomous citizens review board of the Baltimore City Police Department.

    • Researching and archiving the history, laws, policies, and practices of the Baltimore City Police Department
    • Organizing an independent media platform where that information will be accessible to the public for free, in addition to reflections of current events and communiques from the 'Families Against Police Brutality' bloc. 
    • Mobilizing 'Cop Watch' program; community outreach, distributing literature, observing police activity, providing direct aid, facilitating resource accessibility, recruiting, networking.
    • Sun, Apr 27 @ 1:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Politics As If People Mattered: Running an Independent Campaign for Public Office

    A training program designed to help the working, non-wealthy, independent, progressive or radical person run an effective campaign for local, state or federal office. 

    • Wed, Apr 23 @ 7:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Critical Theory Reading Group

    A reading group for textual encounters between cultural studies,  philosophy,  political economy and sociology. We'll start with Slavoj Zizek and move on to Gramsci, Butler, (Selma and CLR) James, and various representatives of the Frankfurt School - among others. No prior background needed, but regular reading and discussion participation will be expected.

     

    • Thu, May 15 @ 4:00 PM
    • Thu, May 01 @ 4:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Economics for Anti-capitalists

    This reading group will study introductory texts on economics written from a critical perspective of our current Capitalist system, beginning with Disassembly Required: A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism by Geoff Mann. We will discuss, deepen each other's understanding of the information. Any further readings we choose will focus on describing current economic conditions rather than hypothetical ones. Participants are encouraged to bring any insight or information they have to further the learning process.

    • Thu, Jun 05 @ 5:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Teacher Reading Group

    Open to anyone interested in public education, and anyone who teaches or educates in any capacity. We will read Diane Ravitch's new book Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privitization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools

     

    • Thu, Apr 24 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    How To Take Over Your City

    This reading group will examine examples of how community activists and labor organizers in four cities have developed successful (and very different!) models in order to build sufficient power at the municipal level to advance an agenda for economic and racial justice.