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

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, Jun 28 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, Jul 11 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, Jul 18 @ 6:00 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)

    Using Blogs and Social Media to Affect Social Change

    How to use aspects of social media to spark social change.

    • Thu, Jul 13 @ 6:00 PM
    • Thu, Jul 20 @ 6:00 PM
    • Thu, Jul 27 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Resistance for Introverts

    'Silence is complicity' is a colloquialism in activist movements. What happens to the introverts who have a strong preference for silence, but also desire to be part of an activist movement? Oftimes introverts can feel overwhelmed by the group component of activism or by large crowds at marches. However, introverts may feel conflict at their innate desire for aloneness and individualism in spaces that ask for group think and vocal participation.

    This three part series will give introverts space to talk about their experiences as well as ways to brainstorm resistance that complements a strong preference for quiet and small groups. Also, strategies to participate in larger groups and protests will be part os the discussion. 

    Some light reading and video viewing will be assigned as well. 

    • Wed, Jul 26 @ 5:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Gentrification and Racial Equity in the "Laboratory for Social Innovation"

    This panel discussion, organized by Baltimore Corps Fellows, attempts to build a shared analysis among attendees of how to differentiate between gentrification and community economic development in the Baltimore context and take action to prevent the losses that have happened in other cities. 

    • Tue, Jun 27 @ 5:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Meditation with Talbolt Johnson

    This is a special meditation session with Red Emma's Talbolt Johnson, longtime popper and loving member of the community.    Come explore your breath, your mind, and your emotions!   To read more about Talbolt and his personal philosophy, check out:  

    • Thu, Jun 29 @ 6:00 PM
    • Fri, Jun 30 @ 6:00 PM
    • Sat, Jul 01 @ 6:00 PM

    Freedom of Movement

    In this series, Ryan Hoffman provides background lectures and movement meditations into our lived experiences as social animals. The same mechanisms that let us function in day-to-day routines -- the force of habit -- is also responsible for some of our most commonly-encountered challenges to our health and our interpersonal lives. Hear how a biology and pain science perspective can be used to approach this challenge, and experience how simple movement lessons (based on the Feldenkrais Method) can be used to increase ones self-awareness and ability to find comfort in difficult or coercive scenarios.

    • Sat, Jul 29 @ 1:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    China-Africa Relations: Cooperation and Conflict

    This course will be an introduction to the history of China's engagement with African countries from the Cold War to the present period. We will discuss the history of Chinese engagement, migration of Chinese to Africa/Africans to China, Neocolonialism, and how Chinese economic investments have restructured the global political economy of Africa. 


    Self Care is Radical

    In a world that constantly takes out so much of us, we are required to continue moving forward with the same strength and intensity. How do we fill up all the energy we give out? Join us in a discussion surrounding the emotional labor of activism, and societal expectations. We will heal together through conversation and by making tangible objects that will serve with a dual purpose of healing and creating! 

    • Sun, Jun 25 @ 5:00 PM
    • Sun, Jul 02 @ 5:00 PM
    • Sun, Jul 09 @ 5:00 PM
    • and 2 more sessions
    (North Ave classroom)


    I will hold a safe space for your to explore your breath, your mind, and your emotions. Together we will pay attention, non-judgmentally, to the present moment. We will breathe in different ways,  direct our focus to different things, and explore various meditation practices. Then, we will share our thoughts and experiences of the practice.


    Everyone is welcome. You do not need any prior experience with meditation, and you don't have to be able to sit cross-legged.

    • Tue, Jun 27 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Yoga for Ex-Offenders

     Introduction to Yoga for Formally Incarcerated Individuals in Baltimore reoccurring each Tuesday.

    • Sun, Jul 23 @ 11:00 AM
    • Sun, Aug 27 @ 11:00 AM
    • Sun, Sep 24 @ 11:00 AM
    • and 1 more session

    Literary Review and Criticism of Multicultural Books

    This class will focus on the reading, discussion and critique of fiction and non–fiction books about the many cultures that make up America and the world.

    • Sun, Jun 25 @ 2:00 PM
    • Sun, Jul 23 @ 2:00 PM
    (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.


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    • Wed, Jun 28 @ 7:00 PM

    Cooperative Study Group: Beginners Helping Beginners