From Our News Archive

Shaun Abreu, member of the inaugural F&C class in 2009 and Columbia College graduate of 2014, is now a housing attorney at the New York Legal Assistance Group. He wrote this Op-Ed for the New York Daily News this winter reflecting on his experiences in housing justice. Check out the full article here.

In its Fall/Winter 2018 issue the Columbia Newsletter writes that Freedom & Citizenship "has raised the bar in developing our next generation of high school students to become 'informed, responsible citizens.'" The newsletter is published by Columbia's Office of Government and Community Affairs as a means of providing the university's neighbors with relevant news about the campus. The newsletter can be accessed as a pdf online

The Freedom & Citizenship Program was featured on Boston Public Radio in July 2018. Listen to or read the story here.


Tuesday, April 10, 2:00pm

Butler Library, Room 522

The Heyman Center Public Humanities Initiative envisions ways for scholars to interact with and facilitate access to humanities scholarship for a larger public outside of academia. This year, the pilot program supported three scholars' projects focusing on the impact of scholarship on civic life and society. Freedom & Citizenship's Associate Director Jessica Lee will present along with Sahar Ullah, Leah Pires, Adam Blazej and Soo-Young Kim.

Dr. Lee's pilot program is a collaboration between the Center for American Studies and the Double Discovery Center. Its goal is to provide an introduction to the humanities and civic engagement to young New Yorkers. While Freedom & Citizenship works with high school seniors who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to academics and civics, the pilot program will target middle school students to instill interest in the humanities, college education, and civic engagement before they enter high school. Called "Socrates to Snapchat" the program has students examining challenging civic problems across time and space during four days of educational programming. Alumni of F&C will serve as teachers and teaching assistants. Any F&C alumni interested in working with Socrates to Snapchat should contact Dr. Lee directly. 

All are welcome to attend the symposium. Please RSVP here. 

Reading "Tell Me How it Ends" gives me a recollection of all the stories that were told to me as a kid, with the majority of my family being undocumented immigrants and having to come here to the United States by crossing the border. This book was a refresher about hearing the sad stories of people getting lost and a mixed emotion of hope, fear, and skepticism.

In an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Roosevelt Montás argues America's colleges have a responsibility to bolster America's liberal democracy by educating its students as citizens. Read his editorial to see why this matters so much and what is preventing colleges from taking up this cause. 

Read a student's heartfelt response to one of our newest F&C texts from the summer of 2017

Like most first-year teachers, Wendy Gomez (F&C '12) is facing a lot of new challenges on the job. But the mountains of paperwork and difficult parent-teacher conferences she knew to expect. What no one in her Houston school district saw coming was a category four hurricane that dumped up to 50 inches of rain just days before school was supposed to start.

Today, low-income high school students are less likely to apply to and enroll in colleges than they were ten years ago. Studies show that college mentoring can significantly boost students' submissions and enrollment rates, but most of our students attend schools that have one guidance counselor for every 500 students. Your mentorship can make a substantial difference in the life of a New York City student.

Mentors do not need to be experts in college enrollment--just dedicated to their students. If you have up to four hours a week to spend with a student from September through December you have what it takes to be a college mentor. See our volunteer page for more information and an application form.

Deadline for volunteer applications is September 14.

Shaun Abreu, a participant in the inaugural Freedom and Citizenship program of 2009, wrote an op-ed with Amber Moorer and Congressman Adriano Espaillat. Their essay defends the Upward Bound programs that President Trump's proposed budget would underfund through major cuts to TRIO spending. Freedom and Citizenship students benefit from the college counseling they receive through the Double Discovery Center's programming, including Talent Search and Upward Bound. 

Freedom and Citizenship's Casey Blake, Tamara Tweel, and Roosevelt Montás write: "Ownership of the democratic tradition is key to a civic education. [Political Philosopher Danielle] Allen understood that if students formed a personal relationship with a text, if they acquired it as a work that awakened their own civic intelligence, they would move from passive recipients of a heritage that they didn’t believe was theirs to active participants in shaping their country’s democratic future.

Read their full essay in Inside Higher Ed

Undergraduate Teaching Fellow Sophie Wilkowske has received a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a an MPhil in political thought and intellectual history at the University of Cambridge. Sophie is one of thirty-six American students to receive this highly prestigious award. She intends to study the place of children in relation to early modern European economic thought. A Columbia College history major, Sophie has worked as a research assistant for Professor W. Bentley Macleod and Professor Carl Wennerlind, and performed extensive archival research at Columbia's Rare Books and Manuscript Library. She continues to oversee the publication of the Columbia Political Review. 

Last year, Sophie was one of twenty students awarded the competitive Beinecke Scholarship. Recently, she was one of twenty-three Columbia seniors inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Sophie hopes to ultimately pursue a PhD in history, focusing on economic and intellectual history.