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 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
Ph.D. Southern Methodist University
Teaching Area: U.S. History
M.Ed. University of North Texas
Teaching Area: Literature
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