who we are
the common action free school is a collective effort to facilitate educational and skill-sharing opportunities within our communities.
we are fellow travelers taking a radically different approach to living and learning. our classes are informal, egalitarian, and are held in homes, social spaces, parks, and anywhere else we happen to meet. we desire to learn from each other, share what we know, and to apply our knowledge toward building a good society, creating today the community we want to exist tomorrow.
we welcome everyone -- people of any age, gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, education or ability level, religion (or lack thereof), culture, subculture, and political opinion. and if you need special accommodations we will do the best we can to make it happen.
all of our courses, skill-shares and other activities will always be free of charge.
the courses, skill-shares and activities we offer or endorse are decided upon by a consensus of those who attend our planning meetings. while we aim to be as inclusive as possible and are open to hosting classes and events of all kinds, we will not host classes or events that contribute to oppression, promote a political party or candidate, promote a religion, or seek financial gain.
if you are interested in teaching, sharing a skill, joining a class, or you just want to hang out and chat, we would love to hear from you, and we would love for you to get involved!
we are currently located in the towns of bloomington and normal, illinois.
the "free" in "free school" means:
- liberating and empowering
- no money required
- open exchange of ideas
we believe in:
- autonomy: the free school maintains independence from other groups to ensure that we have full control over our own actions. we often work with other groups but are not affiliated with any other organizations or institutions.
- community: a free school is all about people working together to benefit their own community. classes are not only educational and entertaining, but also a great way to meet new people.
- empowerment: our classes are intended to empower individuals and communities by sharing information and skills. with each class we become more confident in our ability to think/do/fix/create/etc. for ourselves.
- enjoyment: participating in free school activities should be fun and interesting. we encourage everyone to participate in the way that is most enjoyable to them.
- solidarity: we believe in standing with our fellow community members when they need support. it is important to unite and work together to remedy injustice, whether it directly affects us or not.
- egalitarianism: we believe in equality and do our best to practice this within the free school. everyone who participates in the free school enjoys the same rights and privileges, whether this is their first class or they have been planning classes for years.
- participatory democracy: everyone is encouraged to participate in the free school planning meetings so that they have a voice in how we operate.
- collaborative education: everyone has something to teach and something to learn. free school classes are meant to be forums for open discussion in which the line between students and teachers are blurred.
- mutual aid: we believe in taking care of each other. we hope that the skills and knowledge shared through the free school will be used and shared throughout the community. if you take a class on bicycle maintenance, help your coworker fix their bike. if your tomato plants keep dying, see if your neighbor can lend their green thumb.
- inclusivity: we welcome everyone to our classes and meetings, regardless of age, gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, education or ability level, religion (or lack thereof), culture, subculture, or political opinion. if you need special accommodations we will do the best we can to make it happen.
- horizontalism: the free school has no officers, board of directors, or anything like that. each member enjoys the same rights and privileges and no person or group has more power than any other.