What Is the Freedom Hill Coalition?

As stated in our Deep Rooted report, the very first settlement established by formerly enslaved people in the United States was in Edgecombe County, NC (1865). The area was declared “Freedom Hill” by the freedpeople not due to the landscape — as it was a low-lying area prone to flooding — but rather because of what it represented. The idea that people living under the continual yolk of oppression and racism would finally have the opportunity to shape their own lives and destinies. For us at CREED, this idea has come to symbolize a yet unattained goal not just for Black people in North Carolina, but people of color in general within our state. As our report states, “Other than land ownership, freedpeople in the South just after the Civil War considered education perhaps the most critical vehicle towards autonomy.” (Roy & Ford, 2019). Freedom Hill epitomizes the radical imagination needed as we chase hard after racial equity in education. It also serves as a stark reminder that we still have not reached the summit of educational opportunity for ALL students.

How Was the Coalition Formed?

On June 7th, 2019, CREED convened a broad cross-section of leaders and organizations throughout North Carolina doing reputable work in the way of racial equity. In attendance were elected officials, educators, parents, students, nonprofit leaders, activist/organizers, philanthropists, consultants, etc. After presenting the preliminary findings of the E(race)ing Inequities report, we invited attendees to be part of a statewide coalition led by CREED to develop a coherent and shared-agenda for achieving racial equity in education. Over 20 individuals and organizations committed to becoming founding members of the Freedom Hill Coalition.

Ways We Work:

We are in this together, coalescing towards community equity. We emphasize our own power, our voices shape the future of education for our children.
We share space, listening and building together as we address systemic oppression with the urgency it deserves. We encourage people to engage with their whole selves, not just one part of their identities.

The work of Freedom Hill is grounded in a complex and multifaceted history. Going forward, we ground our work in the much needed multicultural/multiracial dialogue, not only to excavate the realities facing children of color, but to heighten and amplify the voices of those who commit to sustainable engagement towards transformative change.

Freedom Hill is a journey founded in truth and seeking transformation. Embarking on this work requires large scale commitment across sectors pushing for accountability, and steeped in the knowledge that we can and will create a just future.

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Committed Members of the Freedom Hill Coalition

Profound Gentlemen
The Educational Justice Alliance
Mentor North Carolina
Village of Wisdom
Students for Education Reform – NC (SFER-NC)
North Carolina Black Leadership and Organizing Collective (NC BLOC)
Westside Education Think Tank
Tina Vasquez of Emergent Equity
Representative Chaz Beasley
Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston
Dr. Alison Welcher
Kaycee Hailey
Kamille Bostick
Dr. Devyn Benson
Dr. Tracey Benson
Tinisha Shaw
Federico Rios
Lakisha Rios
Yasmeen Robbins
Christina Spears
Angie Chandler
Brittany Hunt
Deirdra Reed