"A people's art is the genesis of their freedom."
— Claudia Jones
The Claudia Jones School for Political Education is a popular education organization aiming to build the political consciousness of the Washington, D.C. working-class community. It is founded upon the idea that education institutions today must help people meet the changing situations of a changing world.
Education is not alone the means for transmitting the heritage of culture, of fact and information, of art and literature, of science and philosophy; it is the means for equipping people with the tools of understanding and with the scientific method for cutting a clear path to international security and to economic, social, and political democracy. To this end, the Claudia Jones School dedicates itself to study the contributions made to the social sciences by the great pioneers in democratic thought and the leaders of the popular and working class movements in more recent times.
The School believes that the strength and maturity of the labor movement will be a crucial factor in determining the substance of the world to come. A major function of its program will be to foster the widest recognition of labor’s historic contribution toward the development of democracy in the United States.
The Claudia Jones School believes that student and teacher should contribute actively to shape the life of the community of which the School is a part. Courses are therefore planned with first regard for the problems of war and peace which require not alone understanding but action on the part of all people.
The Claudia Jones School stands in solidarity with all struggles for justice and peace around the world. The School is a place for ideas to take shape and turn into movements against exploitation, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination.
The Claudia Jones School follows the lineage of other workers and popular education schools such as the the Jefferson School of Social Science (based in Harlem, NY) and the Abraham Lincoln School for Social Science (based in Chicago, IL) by bringing a wide-strata of social, economic, and political issues to working and oppressed people of this country. The School includes as part of its program public forums and institutes on problems of the day, cultural exhibits, film screenings, and theatre presentations. Its object is to make the School a focal point for the forward-looking educational and cultural life of the city, and to provide a meeting ground for the scientist, the writer, the dancer, the artist, the composer, and the people’s audience that seeks progressive ideas and new creative efforts.