Free Minds Dallas

Free Minds Dallas was launched in 2014 by the Foundation for Community Empowerment.

FCE’s mandate is based on the belief that in whole cities, people have equal economic opportunities, are equally self-sufficient and participate equally in political and civic life regardless of an individual’s socio-economic status.

FCE has worked to identify systemic problems and collaborate with members of the community to find and implement solutions, improving areas such as education and social services with the goal of making Dallas a whole city.

Free Minds Dallas was established to help implement FCE’s commitment to the education of economically distressed citizens. Its first project is to bring the Clemente Course in the Humanities to Dallas.


Clemente Course


Clemente is based on the conviction that by studying the humanities, individuals who have been denied access to economic, cultural and social opportunities develop the critical, reflective, and creative skills that empower them to work effectively toward improving their own lives and those of their families and communities.

Clemente provides free, accredited college courses in the humanities to those marginalized by economic hardship and adverse circumstances. Using the Socratic method, the Clemente Course provides a rigorous education in literature, philosophy, American history, art history, and critical thinking and writing.

The experience of Clemente students around the world has demonstrated that through the dialectics of learning, in a caring and respectful classroom, participants develop crucial tools to set in motion personal and societal change, and are empowered to participate more fully in civic life.



Vanessa Mercado-Taylor | Academic Director of Free Minds Dallas

M.F.A Ohio University

Program Coordinator of Drama and Humanities, El Centro College

Professor, El Centro College

Company Member, Cara Mia Theatre Co.

Teaching area: Art History

John Douglas Macready | Course Director-Frazier Site

Ph.D. University of Dallas

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Collin College

Teaching Area: Philosophy

Eduardo Moralez

Ph.D. Southern Methodist University

Teaching Area: U.S. History

Angela Taylor

M.Ed. University of North Texas

Teaching Area: Literature

Jason Carney

A poet, writer, and educator from Dallas, is a four-time National Poetry Slam finalist and was honored as a Legend of the Slam in 2007. He appeared on three seasons of the HBO television series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. Carney has performed and lectured at many colleges and universities as well as high schools and juvenile detention centers from California to Maine. Starve the Vulture: One Man’s Mythology is his memoir.

Teaching area: Literature