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 2020 - REgistration is open now and limited

Freedom Camp 2020 will happen on Monday, January 20, 2020 from 1:00 - 4:30 pm. There is no cost for Freedom Camp but we encourage a $3.00 donation per participant. You must pre-register here as space will be limited. Note the new time. Register here for 5 and 6 years old children. Register here for children who are 7 years old or older.

Families please note: Our topic for Freedom Camp 2020 is Voting Rights which we think is relevant for an election year. For families with children 7 years and older, if you have an opportunity, please either read the book or watch the Disney movie of: "Selma, Lord, Selma" with your Freedom Camp child before our event.


An educational event on the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday for young people ages 5 years through High School that honors and teaches about the people, the events, and the music of the Civil Rights Movement, and the efforts for social justice that continues today.

January 20, 2020

1:00 pm to 4:30pm

Ainsworth United Church of Christ

NE 30th and Ainsworth

Sponsored by: the Threads of Justice Collective (An informal group of Early Childhood Educators who work together to promote social and cultural justice for all Children)

We will provide snacks and dessert.

There is no charge for Freedom Camp, but we greatly appreciate a $3.00 donation per family or adult attending. YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER FOR FREEDOM CAMP AND SPACE IS LIMITED.

To Register: go to find the Freedom Camp section to register. Provide participant’s name, age and contact information. Additionally, an adult must sign in young people at Freedom Camp on January 20th and leave emergency contact information.

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

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