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CDF Freedom Schools Staff

Dr. Cameron Van Patterson
Interim National Director

 

Dr. Cameron Van Patterson serves as the Interim National Director of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools program, a nationally recognized summer and after-school enrichment program focused on encouraging, equipping, and empowering children through literacy. In this capacity, Dr. Patterson is responsible for the general management, supervision, and evaluation of CDF Freedom Schools program staff. He ensures the overall quality, productivity, and efficiency of internal program operations at CDF’s national headquarters in Washington D.C. Dr. Patterson also oversees development and national implementation of educational technologies that enable centralized tracking of vital student attendance, demographic, assessment, and academic information for CDF Freedom Schools program participants, staff, and parents across the country. In balancing internal management with external impact and visibility, Dr. Patterson works closely with colleagues throughout the organization to engage constituents in advocacy, fundraising, and child policy at the local, state, and national levels. He provides leadership in developing and sustaining partnerships with other organizations, actively pursues new revenue sources and program sponsors, maintains effective marketing materials and online presence for CDF Freedom Schools, and represents the Children's Defense Fund at public forums as needed.

Prior to joining CDF, Dr. Patterson taught as a college professor and he continues to serve as a guest lecturer at schools and universities across the country. As an interdisciplinary scholar and student of the culture, history, and politics of Africans in the Americas and throughout the African Diaspora, Dr. Patterson is dedicated to the development of diverse academic curriculum and creating dynamic educational opportunities in the arts for children and youth in underserved communities. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in African American Studies and Education, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in African and African American Studies with an emphasis in the History of Art and Architecture. Dr. Patterson is the recipient of several awards including the John Blassingame Prize for the Study of African American Life & History, and in 2005 he was honored by the Harvard Foundation for Race & Diversity for excellence in academic advising.  Dr. Patterson was born and raised in Long Beach, CA, and currently resides in the Washington D.C. area.

Dr. Cameron Van Patterson
Interim National Director
Children’s Defense Fund, Freedom Schools Program
Washington, DC
p (202) 662-3654
e cpatterson@childrensdefense.org