Send Undocumented Student Leaders to Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Conference!
In Georgia, undocumented students face severe discrimination based solely on their immigration status. Under Policy 4.1.6, they are barred from attending the state's top public universities. In their fight to overturn this policy and challenge the resegregation of higher education in the South, they have taken inspiration and guidance from the young freedom fighters who came before them -- most notably, the veterans of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
In the summer of 1964, SNCC embarked on a brave experiment called Freedom Summer, which sought to empower blacks in Mississippi to defend their civil, political, and economic rights. Freedom Summer involved a voter registration project and the establishment of community centers and freedom schools.
In 2011, in the face of the passage of Policy 4.1.6, undocumented students decided to continue their education despite the ban. Taking inspiration from the legacy of Freedom Schools of the 1960s, these students collaborated with four professors to establish Freedom University. Freedom U now provides college-level classes to hundreds of undocumented students and serves as a safe space where students can learn, build community, and organize themselves to defend their human right to education.
On this 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, an incredible week-long conference has been organized in Jackson, Mississippi. The Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference and Youth Congress will bring together SNCC veterans and a new generation of freedom fighters from around the country to share knowledge across generations, build bridges across movements, and equip youth activists with the skills and networks they need to carry on the struggle for social justice into the future.
Freedom University students desperately want to attend this conference so that they can continue their movement education and come back to Georgia with new skills and renewed energy to continue their fight for immigrant rights in the South. Let's work together to get them there.
What We Need & What You Get
Sending 11 students and one professor down to Mississippi for one week requires significant resources. Because Freedom University does not charge tuition, our projects rely solely on the generosity of donors, friends, and good-hearted strangers who believe in the importance of our work.
Freedom Summer Expenses: $4,000
15-passenger van rental and gas: $1200
Housing (Five nights, 12 people, $25 per person per night): $1500
Indiegogo Fee and Fulfillment of Perks: $500
In return for your generosity and support, we have awesome perks for you!
- $25 Level: Handwritten thank you card signed by Freedom University student participants featuring a photo from Freedom Summer 2014!
- $50 Level: Thank you card plus a 4x6 photographic print featuring an image of Georgia's undocumented student movement taken by Freedom University professor and photographer Emiko Soltis.
- $250 Level: Above perks plus a one-hour photo shoot on location in Atlanta with Emiko. Makes a perfect gift: professional head shots, engagement photos, or family portraits.
- $500 Level: Brunch with Freedom Summer participants in Atlanta.
- $1000 Level: Musical composition of a modern freedom song featuring lyrics or personal dedication of your choice by a Freedom University supporter and composer.
By sending Freedom University students to Freedom Summer 2014, we are doing much more than getting them to a conference. We are honoring their desire to receive an education in a state that denies them this right. We are investing in young people who are directly impacted by discriminatory policies by providing them with the practical skills and connections they need to continue and build their movement. We are planting a seed that represents our hope in a better world - one that will grow and flourish in generations to come.
Other Ways You Can Help
We realize that many of you who believe in us simply do not have the resources to make a financial contribution. That's perfectly okay. You can still help us greatly by sharing this link with your family, friends, and social networks! Thank you so much for your generosity.