Opportunities for teachers - Mikva Challenge, Chicago Freedom School, Facing History and Ourselves + community partners

posted Jul 27, 2017, 1:49 PM by L Williams   [ updated Jul 27, 2017, 1:49 PM ]
Here are some terrific upcoming professional development opportunities for teachers of all grades (please scroll down).
To support civic learning in classes as well as individual student projects, we are planning a Civic Engagement Fair for September.  We are inviting organizations on the Civic Engagement partner list; please let us know if there are other organizations you'd like us to include.  
We also welcome hearing from you about projects you're interested in developing in the coming year -- we are excited to support you!
Shanti and Lisa

Facing History and Ourselves: Upcoming Workshops

Our workshops are offered both in-person and online. In-person workshops last anywhere from 2 hours to 1-3 days, whereas online workshops typically last 3-5 days. Pricing can vary from workshop to workshop, with some events being free and others requiring registration fees. Look for these details within individual event listings.


  • 16
    Facing History for Non-Humanities Educators
  • 17
    Planning Your Facing History Unit
  • 19
    From Bystander to Upstander
  • 28
    My Part of the Story

"I gained the strategic tools and communication skills to spread awareness of Adultism. I recognize that a major shift in cultural perspective needs to happen to empower youth. “

- Adultism training participant

The Chicago Freedom School offers a variety of trainings for adults, youth, and intergenerational audiences. All trainings are rooted in anti-oppression practices and designed in a movement-building framework. CFS hosts in-house trainings that are open to the public as well as customized trainings for schools, organizations, houses of worship, and other groups.  All trainings are led by CFS staff members with experience facilitating professional development for staff, youth groups, and intergenerational audiences. 

To schedule a training for your organization, please contact us directly or complete this Training Request Form.

For more information contact our Training Coordinator, Xavier Maatra, at 312-435-1201, or xavier@chicagofreedomschool.org

Upcoming Workshops

Saturday, August 19, 10a-4p - Social Justice Practice Series - Smashing White Supremacy

This workshop is a strategy and reflection session for people of color to explore the myth of white supremacy and its psychological, cultural, social, and economic impacts on their lives. Sliding Scale: $15-$35


Tuesday August 29, 6p-9p -  Over the Rainbow: Understanding the Intersections of Sexuality & Gender

This is an LGBT 101 training designed to empower participants with tools to engage in introductory conversations about gender and sexuality that support their ability to be critical, conscious, and culturally aware professionals within diverse working environments. Participants will use popular education to briefly explore: LGBT terms and definitions, LGBT youth homelessness, violence against trans woman of color, and issues in employment and healthcare access for trans and queer identified people. Sliding Scale: $15-$35


Wednesday, September 13, 6p-9p - Community Organizing Series: Fundamental Organizing Skills

Join us to gain skills that sharpen your knowledge and ability to be an effective organizer and campaign supporter. Participants will examine the elements of successful campaigns and learn tools for analyzing power, framing issues, and base building. Sliding scale: $15-$35. Dinner provided. 


Wednesday September 27, 6p-9p - Community Organizing Series: Strategy and Campaign Development

Actions are but one part of effective community organizing. Essential to successful organizing are concrete strategies rooted in well-framed issues. This session is designed for participants with a range of organizing experiences to develop common language and skills for innovative organizing. Participants will explore tactics to strengthen their ability to develop and adapt long term organizing strategies and campaigns. Sliding scale: $15-$35. Dinner provided


Saturday September 30, 1p-4p - Radical Youth Work Series: Understanding Adultism

Explore strategies to build strong youth-adult partnerships for youth-led social change. Co-facilitated by young people. Sliding Scale: $15-$35


Saturday, October 14, 1p-4p - Radical Youth Work Series: Navigating the Grey Zone

Participants will learn skills to navigate boundaries while supporting young people's social and emotional health. Using engaging activities, participants will explore positive youth development and harm reduction strategies for creating a healthy youth culture within organizations and programs. Sliding Scale: $15-$35


Wednesday, October 18 6p-9p- Community Organizing Series: Popular Education Facilitation

In this session participants will explore the fundamentals of popular education and how to use it as a tool for organizing across multiple issues. Sliding scale: $15-$35. Dinner provided. 


Saturday October 28, 1p-4p - Social Justice Practice Series: Identity, Power & Oppression

Develop practices to name, interrupt and transform oppression in communities, workplaces, schools, and day to day interactions. Sliding Scale: $15-35


Saturdays, December 2 and 9, 1p-5p - Social Justice Practice Series: Organizing Strategies for Black Liberation

This workshop promotes dialogue and critical analysis of social movements of the late 20th and early 21st century and their impact on the black freedom struggle in America. Individuals 23 and younger free. Sliding Scale: $15-$50. Dinner provided. 

Rev Up Training Institute

October 5-8, 2017

Young people are leading dynamic and important social change in schools and communities across the country. CFS is partnering with the University of Chicago M.Ed. in Youth Development Program to offer a multi-day training institute for youth organizers, teachers, and youth workers who are interested in exploring ideas and building strategies to incorporate social justice practices into their work. Rev Up features workshops led by some of the most innovative youth development organizations in Chicago and provides opportunities to build strong professional networks to support youth-led social change. 


click here for information and registration

White Folks and Racial Justice 3-part series

Fall 2017 Dates TBD

This workshop is a space for white people committed to anti-racist practices to collectively reflect and build strategies that interrupt systems of white supremacy and actively challenge racism as a barrier to multiracial movement building. Using interactive activities and discussion, we will reflect on our own lives, learn about anti-racist freedom fighters and explore counter-narrative histories of resistance.  We will also explore the prison industrial complex and prison abolition. Lunch and light breakfast included. 

Location: will be sent to program participants

Exploring anti-racism frameworks, language & history

In this workshop, participants will strengthen an understanding of how identity, power and oppression interact and how one's own identity fits into systems of power and oppression. We will also examine the history of anti-black racism in the US and the roles and strategies of white anti-racist freedom fighters. 

Building anti-racist practice at an interpersonal level

Building off of the first workshop, this session continues to unpack systems of privilege and power. We will discuss how systems of white supremacy impact our own lives and impact how we act in relationship with others. Using role plays, we will discuss how racism can show up between individuals and how we can interrupt.

 Building anti-racist practice within social movement work

This final session will focus on developing anti-racist practice within our communities and institutions, as well as help us collectively identify the potential role of white anti-racist practices in movement building. We will explore history of resistance movements and how white anti-racists stood in solidarity with people of color in order to make connections to present-day strategies for anti-racist coalition building. 

This workshop is offered on a sliding scale.  Discounts and scholarships are available. 

Please inquire at 312-435-1201.

Training Menu

Do you want CFS to facilitate a workshop or professional development training at your organization or school? We offer a variety of options. Please contact us for more information. 


Understanding Adultism  Understand adultism as a form of oppression and learn how to become an effective adult ally.

Anti-oppression Practices within Education  Develop an anti-oppression analysis and anti-oppression practices as educators.

Leadership & identity development  A Positive Youth Development model designed to support youth in their development as social change leaders and movement builders.

REV UP  Chicago Freedom School's four-day training institute for youth organizers and youth workers who are interested in exploring how to incorporate social change approaches into their work.


Anti-oppression Approaches and Movement History

Recognizing Identity, Power, and Oppression  Explore different aspects of identity and the relationship between identity and oppression. Participants will reflect on their own identity and develop anti-oppression practices that will help them be allies to oppressed people.

White Folks and Racial Justice  A day of training for white people interested in understanding the concepts of white privilege, white supremacy, and learning how to become a responsible white ally.

LGBTQ 101  Develop a greater understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity. Participants will reflect on their own identities, and consider the oppression faced by LGBTQ people.

Movement History  Learn about past movements for social change and their connection to today's social justice issues.

Legacy of Freedom Schools  Explore the history of Freedom Schools and their impact on today's Education for Liberation Movement.



Campaign Development  Learn the steps to developing and supporting youth led campaigns.

Coalition Building  This workshop explores different concepts and models for coalition building and what to consider before entering alliances with others to work towards shared social justice goals.

Action Planning  Learn the skills and tools for planning effective protests, rallies, marches, and events to support community organizing and campaign development.



Understanding Adultism  Via a web based presentation, understand adultism as a form of oppression and learn how to become an effective adult ally.

Navigating the Grey Zone  Learn skills to navigate boundaries while supporting young people in meeting their social and emotional needs via a web based presentation.

It's that time again! Apply to participate in Mikva Challenge's classroom-based programming for the 2017-2018. The online application form is here

By participating, teachers get: 
  • One-on-one support from Mikva Challenge staff member, who provide technical and curricular assistance in person (class visits), and through email and phone
  • Opportunities for students to participate in special events, such as the Project Soapbox Citywide Competition, Action Civics Showcase, and various youth issues forums. 
  • Workshops, trainings, teacher dinners, and professional development opportunities (professional development credits available)
  • Access to the new Mikva Action Civics Network, an online platform where teachers can view and download Mikva lessons, see sample student action civics projects, and connect with other teachers who "do Mikva Challenge" at their schools. 
This application is for teachers in Chicago who are interested in participating in MikvaChallenge programming.