This past weekend I attended the first planning meeting for the Free University of San Francisco. It’s very early in the development stages, only just morphing from idea to reality. You know what that means? That means that you (yes, you, if you live in the Bay Area) have a chance to be a part of this from the very beginning.
What’s the vision? To create a university where knowledge is freely given between those who wish to share it. But that’s only part of it. The other part is what you and I and everyone else who wants to make this a reality can bring. I attended the meeting in awe of folks like Alan Kaufman, Matt Gonzalez and Diamond Dave, but I found that everyone was there to listen, believing that everyone who’d come had something to contribute. It’s very inspiring, how grassroots this whole process is.
Still, it’s obvious that at this point the communities involved are limited. Which is a shame, because an opportunity like this one should be available for everyone to share, from the beginning. So they’re hoping to get more folks involved, more people of color and queer and trans people, educators and experts in all kinds of fields, which could mean having a degree in a particular field or having a grasp of a practical skill, or anything in between. And also people who can help with the logistics of setting something like this up, and anybody who's interested in learning. If you know anybody who would want to be involved, or if you have any sort of inkling to come see what it’s about, please check out the Facebook group here, the website here (still very early in development), and I can’t recommend enough, even if you don’t want to be involved, reading Alan Kaufman’s opening remarks from the meeting, just for the sake of the enrichment that brings.
Also, if you can make out the audio, here’s a video peek at how the first meeting went.
Help spread the word! And let me know if you know of any organizations or individuals, particularly folks of color, who want to be involved.
Education for all!
Note: As I mentioned later in this post, I've since decided to step away from being a part of the Free University collective, though I wish them the best of luck!