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  Free To Grow
  Mailman School
  of Public Health
  Columbia University
  722 West 168th Street,
  8th Floor
  New York, NY 10032

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NOTE: as of April 17, 2007, the Free to Grow program has closed.
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Midwest Academy
Leadership Development: General

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> Midwest Academy Website

The Midwest Academy was founded as a place where people could learn how to organize effectively for social, economic and political justice.  Its roots lie in the organizing work of Saul Alinsky, considered one of the founders of the community organizing movement in the United States.  The Academy's week-long training institutes, which are conducted six-to-eight times a year, are designed to bring together activists interested in improving their communities.  At the Academy, they share their experiences, develop relationships and shape a vision not bound by the limitations of any of single kind of organizing.

(Adapted from information on the Midwest Academy Website, 2002,, and used with the permission of the Midwest Academy)

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Midwest Academy

It is inspiring to watch a low-income mother working on school issues in rural Virginia share her experiences and expertise with an environmental researcher from Washington, DC and a housing organizer from Chicago, or to hear a New York student deep in conversation with a senior citizen from New Orleans and a trade unionist from Indiana.              

(Excerpted from the 2001 Edition Academy Manual, Organizing for Social Change, Midwest Academy Manual for Activists, and used with the Permission of the Midwest Academy)

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copyright 2008 Free To Grow
Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.