FAQs

This page includes answers to frequently asked questions.

Will housing be provided?
We do not offer housing, but may be able to help you find a place to stay if you do not live in the DC metropolitan area.

How will Freedom Summer differ from canvassing jobs?
Freedom Summer combines aspects of door-to-door canvassing with community organizing, service learning and leadership training programs.

From a political perspective, Freedom Summer takes a different tact than canvassing organizations such as the PIRGs. These organizations tend to focus on broad policy issues such as national health care or improving the environment. Freedom Summer, by contrast, will be neighborhood or community-focused. Our first priority is to help communities work better together. If political issues emerge organically from community engagement, that's ok, but it is not the primary focus of the work.

How does Freedom Summer differ from traditional community organizing?
Traditional community organizing stresses righting the balance of power in society. Actions and events focus on getting the attention and forcing the hand of those with political or economic power.

Our model is different: We believe that the first step in building a society that provides real opportunity and fairness for all is to strengthen our communities from the ground up. In a country where the average person spends more than 4 hours per day watching TV, we have a lot of untapped capacity that can be harnessed with the right kind of leadership. That is what Freedom Summer seeks to provide.

What's the connection with the original Freedom Summer project?
The issues were different but the feeling that it is truly NECESSARY is the same. For a 5-minute overview of the 1964 civil rights project that is this project's inspiration, see this 5-minute video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_81kkJDvrUQ. Favorite quote: "We came together because we had to."

The 1964 "Summer Project," as it was known, was organized by the Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced "snick"). The organizers trained 1,000 white northern students to help with voter registration and the creation of "Freedom Schools" in rural Mississippi. As expected, violence was frequent, but the project helped to show the world that deep change was needed in the South.