Welcome to Free Minds Free People 2021!
We open by honoring the Indigenous people on whose ancestral lands the Free Minds Free People community has previously gathered — the Potawatomi, Miami & Illinois (Chicago 2007, 2013); Karankawa, Sana, Atakapa-Ishak, and Coahuiltecan (Houston 2009); Narragansett (Providence 2011); Ohlone (Bay Area, 2015); Piscataway (Baltimore 2017); and Ojibwe, Dakota and Sioux (Minneapolis 2019).
And we honor those lands from which this year’s planners and participants are joining.
We welcome people of all ages and from all racial, ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds, those who are LGTBQIA2s+, those whose gender is fluid or who live outside of any binary or gender label, those whose first language is other than English, and those who are living with disabilities, visible or unseen.
We welcome people who are most affected by mis-education, under-education, school pushout, school-based surveillance, culturally-irrelevant curriculum and other forms of educational injustice, particularly BIPOC youth.
We welcome parents, K-12 teachers, activists and organizers, and people working in higher education impacted by and/or working for education liberation.
We welcome and honor our ancestors and living guides from whom we marshal wisdom, direction and strength.
Free Minds Free People 2021 is a homecoming, a space for our community to gather as we do every two years for self- and collective expression, and for growing in liberation and love. In this moment of a global pandemic and relentless racialized violence, our need for healing and connectedness is all the more vital, as is the necessity that we unlearn ideas and ways of being that undermine our liberation. Where every two years FMFP is hosted in a different city with the local organizers curating our place-based experience, this year’s virtual space means we bring our geographies with us— our multiple, intersectional identities and the places that shape them.
The Planning Committee spent time asking ourselves, what is the opportunity of gathering virtually? What can we create newly or differently that we might not do so in person? For one, we could make it longer and more leisurely, allowing folx to pop in and out as little or as much as they like. With a bigger window, we could also have more than one theme for the conference. We eventually decided on four intersectional themes that paired a strength of FMFP and Education for Liberation Network with an area we are working to strengthen, to better show up for and push conversations forward into more evolved understandings.
Although we will be physically distant, we trust FMFP continues to be a space for social deepening. Between the heady dialogue in workshops and plenaries, make sure to take in those spaces designed to feed our spirits and free our bodies. Please also take a moment to read our Community of Care Statement written to anchor our emphasis on being in right relationship with each other.
In love and solidarity,
The FMFP Planning Team
In loving memory of our beloved brother Thomas Nkondo Nikundiwe.
Check out the video for highlights from FMFP 2019 in the Twin Cities: