The Baltimore Free School

The Baltimore Free School is a grassroots, collectively run and community-funded project, with a classroom inside Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse at 30 W. North Ave. Building upon a long tradition of horizontal organizing, collaborative learning and participatory education, we believe that the empowerment of people of all ages and backgrounds to share and learn is vital to the health of any community. To that end, we work toward creating a space where the exchange of ideas can occur without the exchange of money; a space where we can learn to relate to each other in new and meaningful ways. By building this infrastructure, we hope to form a microcosm of the world in which we want to live.

Click here to get started submitting a proposal. If you want to get involved with organizing the Free School, or have any questions about the project or the course process, please contact us at freeschool@redemmas.org.

Take a course

Every course offered through the Baltimore Free School is 100% free of charge to learners. Sign up online today!

Teach a course

Anyone can teach a course or organize a discussion or workshop at the Free School; propose one right now!

Support the BFS

Get involved as a volunteer organizer or make a tax-deductible donation to help us keep the doors open.

More info

Information on renting the space for private meetings, our consensus-based collective structure, our history and more.

Upcoming Courses

    • Wed, Jun 15 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Jul 20 @ 7:00 PM
    • Wed, Aug 17 @ 7:00 PM
    • and 1 more session
    (North Ave classroom)

    Essential Oils Series

    Learn about how to use essential oils in every part of your life - wellness, cleaning, emotional health, pregnancy support, and more.

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    Wikipedia Editathon for Baltimore Poets

    Join us on Saturday, April 30 from 11am-2pm to create and contribute to the Wikipedia pages of local poets! This event will encourage a collaborative approach to learning Wikipedia basics. Please come with a laptop & charger, a desire to learn, and excitement about our city's vibrant and growing literary culture!

     

    Note: to avoid technical difficulties, please create a Wikipedia account before arriving to the event. It's fast and free!

    • Sun, May 15 @ 5:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    ChickLit: Young Queer Womyn's Book Club

    This group began as a book club offshoot of Young Queer Women of Baltimore, an informal organization of queer women ages 20-40 residing in the Baltimore metro area. We meet monthly to discuss the books which are chosen by suggestions from bibliophile attendees, drawn from a bag before each meeting.

    • Wed, May 25 @ 6:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Self-Care for Survivors

    Reclaim your serenity! Come learn cheap (or free), natural techniques that strengthen and soothe the bodies, minds and souls affected by trauma and abuse. 
     

    (North Ave classroom)

    The Rockefeller Strain: A History of Polio

    We will study the early history of polio research, focusing on the vaccine studies conducted at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City. Secondly, we will probe the worldwide incidence of polio and the nature of polio immunity.

    If you want to read up ahead of time, consider investigating: What is polio? Where did it come from? And what caused its most severe outbreaks to occur in the twentieth century?

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    Baltimore Women in Computing's Book club reviewing 'We Should All Be Feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    • Tue, May 24 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, May 31 @ 6:00 PM
    • Tue, May 10 @ 6:00 PM
    • and 1 more session
    (North Ave classroom)

    Dreams and Transformation

    This course is  for persons who want  to make some change or transformation in their life, and are interested in using their dreams to help in that process.

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    Become an Advocate: Community Members Driving Change

    A practical, one-night-only workshop to teach you how to advocate at the state level for policies that matter to you. Join members of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition to learn, practice, and strategize advocacy tactics to reach legislators and create change in your community.

    • Thu, May 12 @ 6:30 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Tech-Based Workshops for Cultural Heritage Enthusiasts (bLAMclass)

    bLAMcollective (Baltimore Libraries, Archives, and Museums) developed a series of tech-based workshops based on survey responses from people who work in libraries, archives, and museums, and from people who use their resources. These workshops, called bLAMclass are not only for librarians, archivists, museum professionals, and cultural heritage professionals, but they are also open to people who are interested in using digital tools to achieve similar goals.

    (North Ave classroom)

    Topics in Modern Physics

    We have seen an amazing array of recent discoveries in Physics over the past few years: from the puzzling question of dark matter and dark energy and the discovery of the Higgs Boson to the more recent detection of gravitational waves and last years shocking announcement of the creation of a negative temperature system. It is difficult for even experts in the field to truly grasp and keep up with the ideas that have been flowing out of the labs and minds of recent physics. Still, the conceptual basis of many of these discoveries are accessible to the layman with a "native guide". The hope of this class is to provide a "walking tour" of some of the more beautiful and surprising of these recent discoveries.

    • Tue, May 17 @ 7:00 PM
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    Akanni hosted by Black Transmen, Inc.

    Akanni hosted by Black Transmen, Inc.
    Akanni  means Our meeting brings gifts.   Akanni is a space created for all transmasculine persons no matter their stage in the transition process.  The meeting is confidential and for more information please email vmillhouse@blacktransmen.org.
    • Sun, May 22 @ 12:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Troop Shops Powered by GalleryRetail

    A practical workshop series providing best practices to starting/bootstrapping your business while aiding you to build a sustainable business model along the way.

    (North Ave classroom)

    Yanja Series

    mission

     

    yanja series will be a once a month gathering that strives to create a safe/courageous space for people of colour based in baltimore and surrounding communities to connect, unwind + express themselves. yanja, a shortened version of the Chichewa word ‘yanjanani’ means  come together + gather. it is our goal to cultivate + promote a space of love, of learning and of pride within our individual identities through movement, through storytelling, through fellowship and most importantly through open + honest dialogues. 

     

    the creators 

     

    bilphena yahwon is a baltimore based writer + social justice advocate born in liberia, west africa and raised in danané, côte d'Ivoire. yahwon is the owner + curator of goldwomyn.com and the author of ‘teaching gold-mah how to heal herself.’ she writes of the immigrant experience, of blackness, of healing, of african women made from flowers breathing fragility. when she is not writing or in the classroom, bilphena enjoys wandering through spaces of foods, people(s), colors + lessons. 

     

    upile is a malawian poet based in baltimore. born in 1994 and raised in zomba, her debut collections of prose and poetry ‘soft magic was published in 2015. upile writes intimate poems that celebrate womanhood, manhood, blackness, love, color and the intersectionalities many encounter. she is passionate about human rights advocacy, the arts and travel. she hopes to remain curious, soft-hearted and ready for new adventures.

    • Sun, May 22 @ 2:30 PM
    • Sun, Jun 26 @ 2:00 PM
    • Sun, Jul 24 @ 2:00 PM
    • and 4 more sessions
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    Baltimore DSA meeting

    • Sat, Jul 02 @ 4:00 PM
    (North Ave classroom)

    Jacobin Reading Group

    We meet monthly to discuss socialist politics, typically structuring our discussion around readings from Jacobin magazine. Our conversations are lively and non-doctrinaire; no prior experience is necessary. Please contact baltimore.jacobin@gmail.com for more information.

    (North Ave classroom)

    Black feminism and intersectionality

    Educating ourselves about Black feminism and Intersectionality. None of us are experts and nobody is "teaching" the class, but rather we will go through the material collectively. We invite anyone with any level of experience with this topic to join us and share your perspective! The way we structure the group is simply to ask for a volunteer to facilitate, and any Black woman who wants to facilitate is given priority, in recognition of the fact that there are very few spaces where Black woman's voices are allowed to be dominant. We spend time discussing reading that has been chosen by the group, but also leave space for open discussion about any relevant current events, media, blogs, etc. that members want to talk about. We see this group as being shaped by its members, so anyone can suggest readings or changes to the structure at any time. We also have a facebook group called Baltimore Free School Black Feminism and Intersectionality.