About Oakland Free University

Our Values

The Oakland Free University is a collaboration by people living in the Bay Area dedicated to learning as a practice. We hold curiosity, commitment and desire to learn as the only prerequisites for participation. Below are our essential values:

Free + Resistance:

We recognize that most current models of learning depend on economic buy in. We are firmly opposed to the capitalist framework dictating our intellectual and cultural learning landscape. We seek to disentangle our learning from its relationship to monetary value; we learn what we please and  unlearn that which doesn’t serve our vision of a world in which all have their needs met and creativity can flourish without regard to the value placed on it by the market. Our university is one that is free and open to all.

Learning As a Process:

We believe that learning is a process with no end. We are all constantly engaged in the pursuit of wisdom in the infinite fields of knowledge that exist. Our learning does not culminate in a particular destination or certification – but rather guides us in the continual building of the self.

Interdisciplinarity + Collective Operation:

We seek to understand the structures that shape our life experience and identities, and to build new structures more reflective of the world we want to live in. OFU promotes interdisciplinary, valuing the diverse branches of knowledge and the relationships between them. Through our learning, we maintain a horizontal structure of governance where anyone can teach and learn.

Rigor + Emancipation:

We value the commitment to rigorous learning and intellectual emancipation both individually and collectively. Each individual is responsible for their own learning – none is dependent on a teacher. We collectively support each other in that process through mutual care and the cultivation of a non-threatening loving environment.

Respect + Equity:

We respect each other and strive to create a safe environment for all, regardless of “ability, activist experience, age, cultural background, education, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, language, nationality, physical appearance, race, religion, self-expression, sexual orientation, species, status as a parent or other such factors.” (this list is from the Bluestockings Collective safer spaces policy)

No one will be turned away for lack of funds because this is a FREE SCHOOL.