MV FREEDOM SCHOOL: Lessons from the Black Panther Party and the Rainbow Coalition from the 1960s-70s – 10/29

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by Mohawk Valley Freedom School/Press Releases

In remembrance of the founding of the Black Panther Party in October of 1966, the last Freedom School class of this month will look at the politics of the Black Panther Party as well as other groups of the New Left of the 1960s-70s, including the Young Lords, American Indian Movement, and the Patriot Party. A close look will be given to various coalitions that these groups formed and what this meant for the movement of the 1960s-70s. A particular focus will be given to the Rainbow Coalition organized by Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers in Chicago which united a rainbow of Black, white, Latino, Native, working class and poor people into a coalition that had a major impact in local politics. As always, we will ask ourselves what this important history means to us today, especially at a local level. With so many student, activist and community groups doing great things in the Utica area, what do we need to do to make our own coalition to organize for a better Utica and, ultimately, a better world? Come learn about this exciting history and join this discussion.

This class will be followed by a networking meeting open to students, activists and community members who are interested in making connections and building a local coalition to stand up and organize for social, economic and racial justice. Among the topics of discussion will also be a proposal to organize a Utica Social Forum for the spring. This meeting will occur during the next Freedom School class on Thursday, November 5 at 7:00pm. Stay tuned for more details.


The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is a school dedicated to social justice and social change. It is run by and for the community and is rooted in popular education.

The Mohawk Valley Freedom School is held every Thursday at the Cornerstone Community Church at 500 Plant Street in Utica. Classes are from 7:00-8:30pm. Please contact 240-3149 or mvfreedomschool@gmail.com.

This class is free and open to the public and to people of all ages and backgrounds.

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