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

    • Thu, Jun 11 @ 7:00 PM
    • Tue, Aug 04 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, Jun 09 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Psychedelic Seminars

    This is a discussion group providing safe spaces for open and honest conversations about psychedelics

    • Tue, May 26 @ 7:30 PM
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    T.L. Osborne presents The Hip-Hop Lectures

    Dr. T.L. Osborne, local college and online professor/lecturer, author, mentor, and hip hop enthusiast will be conducting a brief talk and discussion about the significance of  Hip Hop as an educational curriculum and Hip Hop Culture's current day impact. The brief lecture will focus on what inspired the author to write these books, The Hip Hop Lectures (Volume 1 & 2), and briefly explain some of the contradictions in history that have impacted the current negativity and positivity in Hip Hop culture (as a whole); including rap artists, lyrics, elements of Hip Hop culture, and current aspects of society; especially as it relates to recent protests and riots, regarding politics and police.  Attendees of the event are encouraged to ask questions, share thoughts, and participate in the brief discussion. In collaboration with the Red Emma's.

     https://www.facebook.com/events/606028726166419/

    • Sun, May 31 @ 10:30 AM
    • Sun, Jun 07 @ 10:30 AM
    • Sun, Jun 14 @ 10:30 AM
    • and 5 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Montaigne's 'Essays'

    An 8-week close reading and discussion series on a selection of Michel de Montaigne's Essays.

    • Wed, Jun 24 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Jul 22 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Aug 26 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Baltimore Area Cooperators: Beginners Helping Beginners: A cooperative study group

    Our study group is open to all Baltimore region folks interested in learning more about cooperatives and building a cooperative culture in Baltimore. We meet monthly, do individual reading and host group workshops to broaden our collective knowledge about cooperatives and inspire and edcate one another on our respective cooperative ventures. 

    • Sat, Jun 27 @ 2:00 PM
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    Everybody In; Nobody Out – Film & Discussion About Universal Health Care

    Everybody In; Nobody Out – Film & Discussion About Universal Health Care

    Sponsored by Health Care Now of Maryland

    Every day people are going without needed health care in the U.S. due to the ills of our private health insurance system.  Many other nations know that health care is a basic human right, and ensure that everyone has access to high-quality care. The Health Care Movie is a documentary that provides the story of how health care in Canada and the United States evolved to be so completely different, when at one time they were essentially the same. Produced by a Canadian/American couple, The Healthcare Movie reveals the personal and emotional impact on Canadians of the universal health care system they enjoy because of the heroism of people who took a stand nearly 50 years ago. The screening will be followed by a discussion with members of Healthcare-Now of Maryland, a statewide grassroots organization working for affordable, accessible quality health care for all.  

    • Sun, Aug 09 @ 7:00 PM
    • Sun, Aug 16 @ 7:00 PM
    • Sun, Aug 23 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 5 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    DIY Sexual Health: Reclaiming Knowledge and Choices in Abortion, Contraception and Reproductive Options

    This course will introduce students to the foundational concepts and frameworks of reproductive justice and health. Together we will unpack and discuss the current medical knowledge about abortion, contraception, queer and trans* sexual health and reproductive options and how to navigate the medical industrial complex as a patient and reclaim the power to be in control of your own body.

     

     

     

    Taught by Kaity Molé, RN, BSN, Co-Director of Baltimore Doulas for Choice 

    • Tue, Jul 14 @ 6:00 PM
    • Thu, Jul 16 @ 6:00 PM
    • Thu, Jul 23 @ 6:00 PM
    • and 8 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Power and Its Subversion in Modern America

    Course Summary

    The course will explore different systems of institutionalized power and how they interact with each other. Sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia and colonialism will be analyzed through a feminist lens and within the context of national and global capitalist economic systems. We will work to re-visit American history and identify where and how these prejudices shaped that history. Instances in the history activist organizing where the welfare and visibility of any of these groups were positioned as at odds with each other will be analyzed. The histories discussed will be used as a spring board for discussions of activism in daily life. Students will be encouraged to critique the material that I present and to introduce their own readings and narratives. As the course progresses, I will do additional research on new ideas that the class brings to light and I will bring in more information on topics which the class is particularly interested in.

    The course will be tentatively scheduled to take place weekly, on Tuesday evenings, for six weeks during June and July.

    While readings will be suggested for each class, I will try to structure the class in such a way that people who do not have time to do outside reading can also participate and learn.  

    • Thu, Jun 25 @ 7:00 PM
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    A Basic Guide To Essential Oils

    Learn how to use essential oils in holistic approaches to wellness which include topical, aromatic, and internal consumption.

    • Sat, Jun 06 @ 4:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Jacobin Reading Group

    We meet monthly to discuss socialist politics, typically structuring our discussion around readings from Jacobin magazine. Our conversations are lively and non-doctrinaire; no prior experience is necessary. 

    • Wed, Jun 17 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Jul 15 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Aug 19 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Socialism Reading and Discussion Group

    This monthly course will offer an open space to discuss socialism and get connected with others on the Left. This class and meeting will provide a forum for discussion and debate of the political questions facing activists. The monthly discussion group will focus on socialist politics and ideas. Readings from socialistworker.org, the International Socialist review and other books and journals will inform the monthly discussion. 

     

     

    • Fri, May 29 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Dharma Punx Baltimore

    Dharma Punx Baltimore is a new chapter within Dharma Punx Nation. We are an alternative meditation community, inspired by the Insight/Vipassana tradition. We work to cultivate mindfulness as a tool for transformation. 

    • Thu, May 28 @ 7:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Understanding the Arab Spring: History, Hope, and Counter-Revolution

    From late 2010 through the end of 2011, uprisings, attempted revolutions, and mass protests followed, bringing about both significant political changes and civil war across the Arab world.

    This class will examine first-hand accounts as well as historical reflections on the "Arab Spring" - What does this mean for contemporary theories on revolution and mass protests? What motivated these situations, and what contexts led to them? What can we be doing today to support and participate with those continuing to fight for liberation and social justice in the Arab World?

    Through readings, guest speakers, videos, and discussion, students will learn a general synopsis of Arab political history in the 20th century and will look in-depth at  key issues that shaped the revolts in 2010/11 - as well as hearing about the revolts themselves.

    • Wed, Jun 24 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Jul 22 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Aug 19 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 3 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Cooperative Study Group:Beginners Helping Beginners

    Dear Baltimore Free School Folks

     

    The Catonsville Cooperative is interested in starting a beginner study group for people that would like to rigorously study successful (and not as sccessful) cooperatives in order to help build their knowledge about cooperatives and also inform their own infrastructure building. We are considering hosting the study group in a variety of places and would hope one of them could be the free school. We would like to rotate spaces to accomodate people coming from all over the area. I look forward to hearing from you. With gratitude, Holly - holly.leon@gmail.com - 443-897-0080

    • Wed, May 27 @ 6:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Anti-Racist Organizing Reading Group

    The goal of this class is to engage in the self-reflection and political education that enables white activist to be accountable, principled anti-racist organizers. The reading list would be taken from the Anne Braden Program (Catalyst Project).