RIC Theme 2020–2022: Freedom Education

Freedom Education
Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship
Programming Theme

The inequities of the COVID-19 quarantine and the continued murder of black people by their government(s) offers somber reminder that education alone will not solve the braided ills of discrimination, displacement, and economic exploitation. More than mere education, we need education with freedom as an explicit end in mind. With some universities already issuing sympathy statements reflective of the moment, communities of higher learning must turn to offering pointed training in how to dismantle institutional racism, how to repair standing inequities in the valuing of non-white lives and knowledge systems, and how to create literate, empowered communities of care.

With these goals in mind, the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship has entered a multi-year programming commitment to advance political education and redressive research agendas. We aim to unmake the educational legacies of colonialism, to improve the public accessibility of incarcerated intellectual work, to support career-planning in fields related to preserving subaltern knowledge, and to ending our social dependence on prisons and state violence, period. This is “Freedom Education.” And it represents RIC’s pointed investment in reversing trends that devalue Black, Brown, Indigenous, and incarcerated communities.

Under “Freedom Education,” RIC will take its usual graduate professionalization efforts in a more applied direction. This includes archival projects and curatorial training, writing practicums, and African-centered youth education efforts in partnership with Orita’s Cross Freedom School, a Baltimore City liberation project for children grades K-12. With the support of a Provost’s Professional Development Innovation Grant, RIC will also host a series of panels and networking events for graduate students interested in careers in prison abolition, incarcerated education, and reparative research. We’re offering, as well, Democracy Dialogue Awards. These competitive grants will sponsor a series of conversations between graduate students and a respective scholar/artist of their choosing, with an emphasis placed on work that advances creative approaches to the study and interrogation of power and institutionalized inequality. Look out for the coming RFP and the resulting winners.

Humanities for humanity. Social Science for society. Research for democracy. Freedom Education. RIC.