CDF asked children, college students and caregivers to “freedom dream” with us. At every site, our partners from the Ink Factory situated a big whiteboard with colorful sticky notes to visually capture what we heard.
About the Site
This summer, we redefined the role of expert to center the lived experiences of the children, youth, and caregivers we serve. In Texas, we visited the CDF Freedom Schools® site at St. Philip’s School and Community Center in Dallas. We asked CDF Freedom Schools parents, caregivers, and Servant Leader Interns (SLIs) to share their experiences and the challenges they face in their community and schools.
When we asked them what is happening in their community or the world that makes it hard to raise children, many shared their concerns on gun violence, cost of living, inequality, and the impact of social media. Key focus areas also included overall health and healing, family economic mobility, just and caring communities, and early childhood development.
CDF Freedom Schools community members also offered a response to the question we raised: What should we be doing to make change for the children? Fair housing, education on guns, single-parent support, and mentorship in the community were identified as top issues.
CDF asked parents to help us identify issues important to them.
“Freedom is being true to yourself.”
“All the anti-trans legislation that’s been passed recently…like the abortion bills, the trans sports bills, the parents of trans children having to turn in themselves or being turned in – it just kinda makes me scared for the future and what it would look like for me and other people in that community…I very much intend to become an activist for this situation because I can see it rolling downhill and I’d like it to stop.”
“If we’re the village, then we’re not just looking for what’s going on in our dwelling, we’re looking out for what’s around the neighborhood, including others who are not members of our family.”
We asked our CDF Freedom Schools parents and Servant Leader Interns at St. Phillip’s School and Community Center what freedom looks like to them. Here are their responses.
Highlights from our Visit
Learn more about CDF’s site visits in these cities: