Freedom Camp

Freedom Camp 2017 was a huge success again this Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Check out our front page article in The Oregonian!

FREEDOM CAMP 2019 : Sadly, we will not be able to hold Freedom Camp 2019 due to shortage of teaching volunteers. We hope to be back strong in 2020. Stay posted.

Register for Freedom Camp 2018 to be held on Monday, January 15, 2018 here. REGISTRATION FOR FREEDOM CAMP 2018 IS CLOSED. CAMP IS FULL

If you are interested in joining the volunteer teaching teams and helpers that bring the Freedom Camp learning experience and community together each year, please contact Katie Kissinger at:

Freedom Camp was started in 2002 by a small group of mostly Early Childhood Educators who wanted to have an Civil Rights Movement educational event for children on the Dr. M.L King holiday. We thought it was important that the day not be just a day off from school. We wanted to share the music, and everyday people of the Movement with children and to help them see a place for them to join the history of acting against injustice. We have always held Freedom Camp at the Ainsworth United Church of Christ in NE Portland. It is an all volunteer effort which has now grown to over 100 children and adults. We hold a "teach-in" on a Saturday either one or two weeks prior to Freedom Camp where adults come and learn, and plan for that year's event. We focus on those three key elements:

  1. Teaching and singing Freedom Songs
  2. Learning about a specific element of the Civil Rights Movement and the people from that event (bus boycott, school integration, the Freedom Rides, Freedom Summer, etc.)
  3. Support children to make connections to unfair and unjust things happening in their schools and communities, and helping them build the skills to speak up and act.....find allies and become the freedom fighters of today

Freedom Camp goes on the Alabama

In the summer of 2006, we were able to take 26 Freedom Camp kids, youth and adults to Alabama to visit some significant sites of the Civil Rights Movement. We spent a week touring: Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham and wrapping up at the Dr. King Center in Atlanta. It was a powerful and memorable week with most of us having a life-changing experience, both in our connections to the Movement and with each other. We sang and sang and sang. We hope to be able to do that trip again someday.

Photos from Freedom Camp 2017