We have so many things we want to share with you, but we’ll keep it brief and hope to meet you soon! We could tell incredible stories to tell about our volunteers, our programs, and the heart behind it all. Take some time to get to know us through a blog post, a video or by stopping by sometime!
What We Do – Our Mission
The Freedom Foundation’s mission is to CULTIVATE (develop, enlighten, educate, train, refine, advocate for, encourage, help, aid, and assist) THE NEXT GENERATION through programs and services that inspire and equip them to reach their full potential.
Who We Are
We are a group of volunteers committed to doing what it takes to see the next generation have, more fulfilling lives. The organization is almost 100% volunteer-based and is run by people who have learned one of the keys to happiness: it is better to give than to receive. While our differences are many, one thing unites us – a heart to serve.
It’s pretty amazing how a common cause brings such a diverse group together. Some volunteer with RATCo at weekly rehearsals and mentoring programs, while others support by coordinating events or fundraising activities, and still others donate professional services such as marketing or accounting to keep costs down. For example, this entire website was designed and built on donated time and talent – pretty cool, huh?
PO Box 715
Selma, AL 36701
Get in touch
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does the Freedom Foundation DO?
We are also seeking to build a dynamic youth institute in Selma (the Tepper’s Buliding), which would provide a space to expand our youth programs in Selma, but also serve as a Beacon of Hope reaching far beyond Selma to educate visitors about the past and present struggle for Human Rights.
Is the Freedom Foundation a faith-based organization?
No. The Freedom Foundation started as the social outreach arm of a non-denominational church nearly 10 years ago by a few of us who were hoping to impact our community in a positive way with no religion attached. The foundation and our programs embrace people of all faiths, beliefs, genders, ethnicities, races, economic means and sexual orientations.
Why is the Freedom Foundation based in Selma, AL?
Selma is an unusual place for any organization to be headquartered, which is exactly why we are here! Selma, despite its critical role in the advancement of our country during the Voting Rights Movement in the 60s, has been left behind. The foundation is committed to seeing Selma progress and also believes it provides a valuable learning opportunity for people well beyond its borders. Our programs, RATCo and Alternative Break, have thrived in Selma, and as they grew we have taken the programs to youth across the county. We will stay true to the birthplace of these programs, however, and are committed to the revitalization of Selma and the realization of its full potential.
Why are there negative blog sites about the Freedom Foundation?
“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yes, we are aware of the sites, and yes know they say some extremely ugly things. The Freedom Foundation, originally formed in Colorado, was warmly welcomed in Selma UNTIL we began speaking publically against segregated institutions such as the country club and schools. We saw how it kept the community, especially the youth, divided. So we talked about it. Some people, a very small group of people, didn't like us challenging their traditions. They took to the Internet either with anonymous or fake names and began spreading lies, rumors and twisted truths.
When one of our volunteers enrolled their daughter in Morgan Academy and she was accepted as the first black student since the creation of the school in 1965 the smear campaigns intensified. It was clear their intention was to drive us out of Selma and use scare tactics to keep people from our programs. Over the years the attacks, largely unanswered by us, have subsided as we have chosen to let the work and consistency speak for themselves.
Check out this video history of the foundation's work in Selma and also read an article by the national human rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, on our early work and struggle. As always, feel free to Contact Us with any specific questions or to learn more.
What is the Tepper's Building?
The Tepper’s Building is the future site of Selma’s youth programs, a leadership, nonviolence and human rights training and education center and the national headquarters of the Freedom Foundation. Check out the plans here.
What in the world is RATCo?!
RATCo, which stands for Random Acts of Theatre Company, is the flagship program of the Freedom Foundation. It is a youth theatre program staffed entirely by volunteers, and the mission is to teach self-expression, confidence and leadership through performing and visual arts. RATCo is dedicated to providing a judgment-free environment for youth ages 3 to 21 to belong, create, and freely express themselves. Founded in 2007, RATCo has grown into a national program, providing hundreds of young people the opportunity to find their voice. A big piece of the RATCo philosophy is teaching kids to pay it forward by providing opportunities to engage in community service projects, leadership development and performing tours.
How do I get my child involved in RATCo?
RATCo is currently operating in Selma, Alabama, the Denver area and Atlanta. Soon we will be launching the program in Washington DC. If you are located in or around any of these areas, please click here to fill out a contact form, and we will have someone from your location contact you.
How can I get RATCo to come perform or engage with my program?
Well, first off, we want to say we would LOVE that! RATCo does all kind of performances and would be glad to perform at your school or event. Just contact us!
How do I sign my college or tour group up for an Alternative Break trip?
We make it really easy – check out the flyer here, which includes contact information. We will work with your group to accommodate your schedule and design an itinerary around your specific goals and desires. Our Selma location is currently the only site hosting Alternative Break trips because of its rich history and continued struggle for deeper freedom.