The Social Justice Portal Project’s Maroon University is a week-long radical learning workshop on social justice and freedom-making designed for activists, organizers, community leaders, and educators to reflect on social movement praxes and imagine what freedom looks like and what it would take to achieve it. 

Across diverse social justice movements there is general agreement that social, political economic, and ecological injustices are rooted in structural racism, capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and other systems of oppression and dispossession. But there remains critical questions and ambiguities about how movements, from climate justice and abolition to economic democracy and solidarity economy, might work in concert to dismantle the current system and build a new and better system that values people over profits and respects planetary boundaries. 

Maroon societies were fugitive spaces, communities of resistance and building established by formerly enslaved people who freed themselves and created new societies parallel to dominant culture as an active practice of resistance and self-determination. At this pivotal moment for transformative justice work, Maroon University will offer space, free from the confines of traditional classrooms and pedagogies, for teachers and learners to deepen their analysis of the current conjuncture of crises; explore critical ideas, debates, histories, and current concerns; identify both shared understandings and points of departure; and strengthen relationships for principled struggle.

Maroon University will feature renowned speakers, facilitated conversations with organizers, and time for deep engagement 

The Center for Third World Organizing is the official partner of Maroon University.

Interested in Applying?

We are accepting applications from those who meet the following criteria:

  • Activists, organizers, community leaders, and educators seeking to deepen their understanding of the larger politics of social change and map connections between different social and racial justice issues and movements.
  • Activists, organizers, community leaders, and educators who have done some basic independent reading and study on at least some of the critical questions we will be exploring as outlined in the institute overview.
  • Individuals with capacity and commitment to reading, study and reflection in preparation for full participation in the Maroon Institute.  
  • Individuals who can commitment to full attendance (barring any unforeseen emergencies), thoughtful participation and active listening .
  • Individuals willing to engaged in shared writing to capture the consensus and questions generated by the institute.
  • Individuals who are willing to make a plan for how they will apply insights from the institute to their ongoing social change work.
  • Persons committed to respectful debate and ideological difference amid left politics.
  • A selection committee will evaluate those applying to participate in the institute based on past practice, experience, application form, and the short recommendation of one colleague or fellow activist.


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