Is this a Christian program?




We realize that the public school systems can't and won't teach our children about their history and culture. The system is set up from a Eurocentric perspective. So we strive to create balance by shifting the lens from which our children are able to see themselves to a perspective from which they are central.

​We realize that this is essential in creating a world in which they can see themselves as great without the validation of a system that seeks to keep them oppressed.

We teach self-love and self-acceptance first so they grow up valuing and loving themselves.

How can I find out about upcoming Freedom School sessions or news about this program?

How much is your fee?

MIA SMITH, Core Staff Member 

What if I pay and I don't bring my child(ren) to the session?

What do you teach?


What about food?

How do I pay?

Do you offer before or after care?


Orita's Cross Freedom School - a project of Fusion Partnerships - is a multi-site youth development program designed to inspire the next generation of society's change makers. 

SHANNON WINSTON, Program Director



Do you teach Black youth to hate non-Black people?

Through cultural awareness, civic engagement demonstrations, mentoring, and the arts, Orita's Cross Freedom School equips youth to embrace their full humanity and be agents of transformation in their community.​



RANDY JOHNSON, Core Staff Member

DIARA JACKSON, Core Staff Member

Is this a state certified school?

What age youth do you accept in your program?

What time does Freedom School begin?


When is your Freedom School Open?


We believe youth - and Black youth in particular - aren't "problems" in need of fixing. Rather they are the solution-bearers poised to challenge racism, poverty, gentrification, gender inequality, the prison industrial complex and other injustices that plague society.

But they're also regular youth who are interested in learning how to make jewelry, curious about how to tie a tie, eager to prove their athletic prowess, excited to cook together and anxious to share what they know.

Do you ever accept youth younger than 6?

​ERIC JACKSON, Core Staff Member


We're open on days when Baltimore City Schools are closed for Professional Development days and some holidays.

Our school day is 9:00AM to 4:00PM

We accept youth ages 6 and up to 18.

On very very rare occasions and under certain conditions we have accepted youth younger than 6.  However, they are always potty-trained and a conversation happens with parents before making a final decision.

We charge $20 per child.  $5 bucks off for the second child from the same household. (So two children from the same house would be $35).  Third child from same household? Follow the pattern. (Ex: 1 child: $20. 2 children: $35. 3 children: $50)

In the event of financial hardship, we work with families to barter and exchange for services in support of the school.  In the past, parents have volunteered at the school and donated food in exchange for a deeper discount on the fee.  This is done on a limited basis and is always agreed upon before hand.

Pay online by registering here or pay onsite in cash or checks made payable to Orita's Cross Freedom School, LLC

We do not provide refunds.  In the event of extreme emergencies, we'll extend a credit for a future session.

Extended Day Service is not regularly available, however some staff members make themselves available for this for an additional fee. Arrangements need to be made requested beforehand. Before Care starts at 8am. Aftercare ends at 5:30pm. Price is $10 for one, $15 for both, per day. Email to inquire and to be connected with a staff member.

Check back to this website for updates. The best way to stay in the loop is to sign up for our e-newsletter and/or "Like" our page on Facebook.  (We're also on Twitter and Instagram. Search Orita's Cross)

We serve breakfast and lunch.  Our breakfast meals often consist of pancakes, eggs, turkey bacon, fruit, oatmeal, and cereal.  Our lunch meals range between lentils, rice, greens, or cheese pizza.  Parents are free to pack a breakfast or lunch for their child.  We try our best to make accommodations for diet when notified in advance by parents. For extremely limited diets due to multiple food allergies or limited personal food palates, we ask that parents send a packed lunch with your child.

As a rule we do not serve any pork products.  

Not yet! We're soon to begin the process of establishing ourselves as a full fledged state-certified school where you can enroll your child throughout the entire year.  If you'd like to help us with this contact us!

Our main location for our Freedom School is at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, however, this is not a Christian program.  It does, however, hold as a foundation aspects of African Spirituality.  For example, we start every day by pouring Libation in reverence of our Ancestors.

We embrace an African Worldview and Orientation in our teaching.  Therefore, we study and promote the ways that African communities and cultures have traditionally viewed and understood the world and their place in it.  We honor African and African descended wisdom.  We teach a profound and unapologetic "love for self" by way of studying African Ancestors, heritage and Black History.  We teach and focus on those things that colonial education in public schools will ignore or mischaracterize.

We teach Black youth to first and foremost love and celebrate themselves without apology.  This often clears the path for relationships of mutual respect with non-Black people.