project leader
Robert D
Central Avenue
(Downtown Dubuque)
latest update rss
Our inspiration and organizing goals

the project

We're raising money to rent a storefront in downtown Dubuque for three months this summer, which will serve as a community organizing space and the site of our annual Free School. The basic premise of Free School is simple: neighbors teach and take classes from each other for free! In the process, they develop friendships, affirm each other, dream together, and make our community more vibrant and interconnected. 


Free School will be open from June 1 through July 30, allowing community members to teach multi-session classes, lead discussion groups, organize game nights, host community-organizing trainings, and so much more. Dedicated space will be reserved for social justice organizations, including Dubuque Harm Reduction, to hold drop-in office hours and collaborate with one another.

the steps


  • Recruit teachers and solicit programming ideas from the community. 
  • Collect material goods/supplies.

Early May

  • Take possession of the property, begin cleaning and decorating.
  • Finalize class schedule and descriptions; schedule volunteer shifts.


  • Hold a donor and volunteer open house!
  • Publish course and programming catalog.

Late May

  • Canvass neighborhoods to invite folks to Free School; distribute catalog.
  • Partnering social justice organizations begin utilizing the community organizing space.

June 1: Class is in session!

why we're doing it

As Democratic Socialists, we believe education should be free and accessible and that everyone has something they can teach others in their community. We also believe education ought to empower us to become agents of social change. These commitments have compelled us to organize Dubuque Free School. For the past two years we have hosted a day-long free school, which offered adults and children the opportunity to take classes on topics such as workplace organizing, harm reduction, creative writing, poetry as resistance, magic, and upcycled art. These years have been wildly successful, and we are excited to expand our efforts.


Rent - $1,500

Utilities - $500

Furniture - $500

Educational Supplies - $500

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $165
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $99



Our inspiration and organizing goals

Three years ago, when we organized our first one-day Free School, we took our inspiration from two sources: the Freedom Schools of the Civil Rights Movement and the philosophy and ethos of timebanking, which is the idea that everyone has gifts and talents that they can reciprocally share with their neighbors. 


This year, we're excited to return to these original sources of inspiration by scheduling a full slate of courses, discussion groups, and other events, which engage us simultaneously as students, teachers, and neighbors. We want to help each other find our voice, share our skills, and grow into a vibrant and interconnected community characterized by mutuality and trust. Along the way, we look forward to tapping into the Freedom School legacy and collaboratively envisioning how we can work together to transform our community to be more just, more supportive, and more participatory. And, of course, putting that vision into action!


To learn more about the Freedom Schools and to jump-start your own vision of what Free School can be, check out these sources:


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Paul & Ruth Jeffries
  • steve mcguire
  • Richard Fischer
  • Anonymous
  • Louie Meier
  • Erin Story
  • Allison
  • frank belcastro
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Robert
  • Dubuque Educator

nearby projects

Sorry, no nearby projects found.