Parkdale is a neighbourhood rich in knowledge, valuable skills and lived experience, and we the organizing team of the Parkdale Free School believe we as a community must find ways to share these assets with each other—in settings that are fun, engaging and accessible to all!
All PFS programming will reflect the larger PNLT’s Purpose, Vision and Values—particularly its belief that “democracy is a practice” and “that through collective action community members can mobilize diverse experiences, resources, knowledge, and skills to achieve common goals.”
PFS Classes, workshops and skill-shares will address—however broadly—at least one of the following values:
- Promotion of social, cultural, and economic diversity
- Land as a commons
- Community ownership of land
- Transparent and representative governance
- Democratic struggles for social justice
PFS organizing team takes inspiration from the global free school movement (see links to inspiring Free School models below), and affirms the full autonomy of instructors to organize classes and programming as they see fit.
At same time, we the PFS organizers, following in the footsteps of the wider free school movement, affirm a commitment to anti-racism and radical inclusivity. Echoing an earlier Manifesto by the Toronto Freeskool,
we actively strive to ensure that our spaces are diverse, and safe for the expression of all identities. We believe that this is crucial to a healthy learning process. Exposing and challenging unjust race, class, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation and other dynamics helps us to work towards a culture that values a wider range of truths and experiences. In terms of radical inclusivity, we acknowledge that there are very real social and structural barriers to many people’s ability to engage in education initiatives, and seek to challenge and remove these barriers to the greatest extent possible… It is, and will continue to be a work progress. We strive to embrace discomfort and challenge our own assumptions, privileges and identities.
Please contact the organizing team with any questions or concerns by email: email@example.com
PFS Cross-listed Courses
The PNLT is part of a much wider community of educators, a community that is already rich in educational programming that is both free and committed to similar social justice values. Rather than try to compete with these valuable public resources, we in the PFS organizing team recognize the importance of supporting these educational initiatives, by promoting select events on our own social networks and including them on the PFS course calendar.
To secure a PFS “Cross-listing” designation, educational programmers must first
- agree to respect the Vision and Values outlined above; and
- ensure that their programming is free and accessible to all.
The following community organizations have become “Cross-listing” partners with PFS:
- Making Room Community Arts
- Another Story Bookshop
- Black Artist Network in Dialogue (BAND)
- Margin of Eras Gallery
Are you part of a local educational initiative, and would like to see your programming cross-listed with PFS? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with “PFS Cross-listing” in the subject line.