Freedom University: Advocating for Access, Mobilizing for Change for Undocumented Students in Georgia

CMEI Dialogue
Larsen Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Education
March 25, 2015

In 2010 the Georgia Board of Regents passed Policy 4.1.6, banning undocumented youth from attending Georgia’s top five public universities, and Policy 4.3.4, which prohibits undocumented students from qualifying for in-state tuition. Freedom University was founded in response to these discriminatory policies in 2011. Based in Atlanta, Freedom University is widely considered a modern day freedom school that provides rigorous college-level classes, scholarship assistance, and leadership development for undocumented students in Georgia. At its core, Freedom University is its community of students: bright, fearless, and compassionate young people who are determined to fight for their human right to education.

This dialogue aims to surface key issues related to achieving access to higher education for undocumented youth.  The discussion will harness critical perspectives of both students and professionals working in the field.

Panelist Biography:
Dr. Emiko Soltis serves as the executive director of Freedom University, where she teaches human rights and documentary photography, builds bridges with documented student ally organizations, and fosters intergenerational relationships between undocumented students and veterans of the Black Freedom Movement.