In a time of a global pandemic, the 2020 election - the most historic election of our lives - was in peril. Freedom Summer 2020 gave students a chance to be part of a nationwide virtual movement for voter engagement ahead of the historic 2020 election. Joined with students from across the country, students in this summer course helped build the power and voice of low-wage worker voters who have been the most impacted by COVID-19.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has brought most voter outreach efforts across the country to a halt, Freedom Summer 2020 continued with a completely virtual format from July 6 – August 14. Building on the original Freedom Summer in Mississippi, this program allowed students to take one 3-unit class in social movements and learn how to organize, develop leadership, and help people get out to vote, and then participate in a second 3-unit field course in which students put those learnings into practice by organizing low-wage workers to vote over the phone and using a voter app. Joined by students from around the country, students grew in learning social movement organizing skills while conducting non-partisan relational voter engagement with hundreds of thousands of unlikely voters from around the country.
In addition to fostering democratic engagement, participants also earned six units of academic credit and a certificate in Social Movement Organizing from the UC Berkeley Social Movements Center.