• Bust of Paulo Freire
Attallah College of Educational Studies

» Paulo Freire Democratic Project

The Paulo Freire Democratic Project (PFDP) is a collection of local, regional, and international initiatives based in Chapman University’s Attallah College of Education Studies. These initiatives reflect the political, pedagogical, and ethical imperatives of the great Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, and capture his democratic struggle for social justice. Originally supported by the Jack H. and Paula A. Hassinger Chair in Education, the PFDP began at Chapman’s Attallah College in 1996. It is the living and lasting effect of the inspiration of Paulo Freire upon the hearts, minds, and work of academic scholars and community activists.

Starting with a small group of Chapman professors dedicated to certain core principles concerning education and justice, the project has since grown in numbers. Academic scholars and graduate students from a number of institutions and disciplines, as well as community activists, are part of the project. Through dialogue and action, members re-envision the philosophy of Freire in our contemporary moment. Critical consciousness of injustice and oppression, as well as the material and epistemological forces that perpetuate it in education become the work of the project.


PFDP Stands in Solidarity with Asian and Asian American Communities

The PFDP stands in solidarity with Asian and Asian American communities. There is a long untold history of their contributions to the formation and growth of this country. We must stop treating Asian communities as foreign agents linked to negative attributes aimed at hurting this nation. This has led to unfair treatment, harassment, and violence. Instead we should honor and respect these varied and valuable communities throughout the country which have added to its fabric, strength, infrastructure, economy, architecture, art and culture.

The recent hate-based killings in Atlanta and Cherokee County are, once again, stark evidence of the endemic racism and misogyny in our society. There can be no doubt that this shooting spree targeting Asian women has something to do with the fetishized social relations that Asian women confront in the U.S. That this takes place at a time in which Asian and Asian American communities are facing the xenophobic response of a society bent on finding someone to blame for our social conditions is no accident. The U.S. has a long and shameful history of making Communities of Color the scapegoats of our problems. The fear and frustration of the pandemic has fanned an irrational fear of Asian communities, with three in 10 Asian Americans (31%) reporting having experienced racial slurs or racist jokes since the beginning of the pandemic.

Racism, misogyny, and other forms of oppression are part and parcel of a racialized capitalist structure built upon social relations of domination and systems of exploitation that serve to lower working wages, increase inequality, and keep the majority living in poverty, while the rich get richer.

This structure is also aimed at keeping us segregated, intolerant and divided while creating an ideological shield for capitalism and reproducing the exploitation of humans by humans. Solidarity is the greatest resource that we have in fighting against structures of oppression. The PFDP makes a commitment of solidarity to bring greater awareness of and respect for the beautiful and varied cultures of Asian communities and to develop a praxis that challenges structures of oppression and develops paths to liberation committed to building a more human world.

The views expressed here are those of the PFDP members and do not represent those of Chapman University.


The Call from Tajaun

By Charlotte Achieng-Evensen


Collective Remembering

the collective body

              myself turned inward

              myself turned outward

              Love as commitment to others (Freire).

collective re- member-ing


              Love as a commitment to others (Freire)


              the names of the fallen…


Breonna. transformation.  George Floyd.

transformation. Chadwick. Inspiration

transformation: Daniel Prude. Collective.

remembering: Emmett.


You ask us to disrupt. Resist. Transform.

A moment of JOY.

              Name. Speak. Learn. Act.

              Love as a commitment (Freire)

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