Unleashing Power and Opportunity Through Great Literature, Art, and Ideas

Free Minds Dallas, in partnership with El Centro College, provides fully accredited, college courses in the humanities to economically distressed residents of Dallas.

Free Minds is an affiliate of the national Clemente Course in the Humanities and is an initiative of the Foundation for Community Empowerment.

If we learn through the humanities to want to seek freedom, … if we learn to live a life not of reaction but of reflection, then we’re prepared to go on to do wonderful things and have a full life. We’re free in ways that other people are not."

Earl Shorris, Founder

Clemente Course in the Humanities


Free Minds Dallas is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty, inequity, and injustice through rigorous education in the humanities.

We believe that the humanities—such as literature, philosophy, the arts, history, and critical thinking and writing—can be liberating, not just for the advantaged but also, and maybe especially, for the economically distressed.

“The best education for the best is the best education for us all.” Robert Maynard Hutchins, former president, University of Chicago

Free Minds Dallas offers a two-semester course in the humanities taught by world-class, local college professors for adults who do not have a college degree and who face significant financial barriers, free.

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The Clemente Course, brought to Dallas by Free Minds, may be taken purely for personal growth. But those who satisfactorily complete the two semesters may receive six hours of college credit.

The course is taught by accomplished professors from the region. It is accredited through El Centro College in Dallas. The credit can be easily transferred to most colleges and universities.



Students may take the course at one of two locations:

1.  Frazier Townhomes

4846 Elsie Faye Heggins St., Dallas, TX 75210

These classes meet Monday and Thursday evenings, 6:45 – 8:30pm (food at 6:00) beginning August 28, ending May 3.

2.  El Centro Downtown Campus

1800 S. Main, Dallas, TX 75202

These classes meet Saturday mornings, 9:00-12:30, beginning Sept 2 through May 5.

No cost for tuition or books.

Childcare is provided at the Frazier Site.


  • are at least 18 years old
  • have a high school diploma or GED
  • do not currently have a college degree
  • are able to read challenging books in English
  • can demonstrate financial need
  • will commit to attending classes regularly and completing all assignments
  • exceptions to these requirements will be made on a case-by-case basis


El Centro College