Training & Professional Development

"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 start by completing the assessment form located at the bottom of this page, or clicking this link

For more information contact our Training Coordinator, Xavier Maatra, at 312-435-1201, or send Xavier an e-mail by clicking the link below.

Upcoming Workshops at CFS

Identity, Power and Oppression

Saturday September 10, 2016 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Participants will reflect on their own identity and how their identities intersect with systems of power and oppression. Together, participants will develop practices to name, interrupt and transform oppression in communities, workplaces, schools, and day to day interactions. 

Location: Chicago Freedom School

Fee: $35

Eventbrite - Identity, Power & Oppression

Understanding Adultism: Building Partnerships with Youth

Saturday October 1, 2016 1:00pm to 4:00pm  

This interactive training is for adults who work with youth.  Adultism is a form of oppression that perpetuates age-based stereotypes and limits the potential for intergenerational power-building. Participants will explore strategies to dismantle adultism and strengthen skills to build strong youth-adult partnerships for youth-led social change. This workshop is co-facilitated by CFS youth leaders. 

Location: Chicago Freedom School 

719 S. State Street Suite 3N Chicago, IL

Cost: $35

Eventbrite - Understanding Adultism & Building Partners with Youth

Rev Up Training Institute

September 23-25, 2016

Young people are leading dynamic and important social change in schools and communities across the country. CFS is partnering with the School of the Art Institute to offer a three-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

community organizing Skills series

This series of trainings are designed for new and advanced organizers to share, re-learn, and gain new skills.  Adults and youth are encouraged to attend.


Facilitation and Popular Education Skills - October 5, 2016 6pm-9pm

Creating engaging learning and skill building sessions is vital to all youth organizations as well as community organizing efforts. In this session participants will explore the fundamentals of popular education and how it has been used as a tool for organizing across multiple issues. They will ask the question what is the role of facilitation in creating dynamic interactive workshops while practicing facilitation skills and creating innovative agendas on relevant topics.

Eventbrite - Community Organizing Series: Facilitation & Popular Education

Fundamental Organizing Skills - November 2, 2016  6pm-9pm

Chicago is a hot bed for innovative grassroots campaigns. Join us to gain the skills that sharpen your knowledge and ability to be effective organizers and campaign supporters. In this session participants will examine the elements of successful campaigns and learn tools for framing issues, base building, and analyzing power.

Eventbrite - Community Organizing Series: Fundamental Organizing Skills


Strategy and Campaign Development - December 7, 2016 6pm-9pm

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.

Eventbrite - Community Organizing Series: Strategy & Campaign Development

White Folks and Racial Justice 3-part series

**WE ARE SOLD OUT**  The next series will be in early 2017. 

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 a variety of media, story circles and arts activities, 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: Roosevelt University 430 S. Michigan Ave. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016 10am to 4pm | 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. 

Saturday December 10, 2016 10am to 4pm | 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 indivuduals and how we can interrupt.

Saturday January 14, 2017 10am to 4pm | 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 training is offered on a sliding scale.  Discounts and scholarships are available. Please inquire at 312-435-1201.

Training Offerings

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.