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Joy Harrington

1619 Freedom School



LatinoUSA podcast features Nikole Hannah-Jones and the 1619 Freedom School


Waterloo, IA: Veteran journalist Maria Hinojosa sat down with 1619 Freedom School co-founder and board president, Nikole Hannah-Jones for a comprehensive interview about giving back to her hometown of Waterloo, why the community needs the 1619 Freedom School, about trying to fit in at predominately white institutions and the importance of intersectionality. 

Reynaldo Leaños Jr.  of LatinoUSA visited the 1619 Freedom School to talk to our co-founder and co-director Sheritta Stokes, as well as our teachers and students about what the school means to them and to Waterloo.

“We’re focusing on the positive contributions of African-Americans,” said Sheritta Stokes. “We teach kids about people who made great impacts in life. Did they [people] have to go through adversities to get to those? Yes, but talking about the adversity is a really small part compared to the contributions they made to America.”

Find the podcast audio here:

Listen to a clip featuring 1619 Freedom School teacher Korie Frazier on Instagram:


About 1619 Freedom School: The 1619 Freedom School is a free, community-based, after-school literacy program where students improve literacy skills and develop a love for reading through liberating instruction centered on 400 years of Black American history. The 1619 Freedom School will combine intensive, fun, and uplifting literacy instruction through a custom-designed curriculum built by expert educators from Georgetown University's Program in Education, Inquiry, and Justice and the University of Missouri's Carter Center for K12 Black History Education.


Parents interested in enrolling their children should contact the 1619 Freedom School at

Please visit the school’s website at

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