Ella Baker Trainers

The CDF Freedom Schools® program is committed to identifying, training, linking and nurturing a cadre of young leaders committed to service and advocacy on behalf of children. Each year, exceptional servant leader interns and/or site coordinators are selected as Ella Baker trainers (EBT) to lead the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institutes, provide technical support for new sites and teach servant leader interns how to deliver key program components.

EBTs are important members of the national CDF Freedom Schools family. Their commitment and passion for children and youth, and expertise in the CDF Freedom Schools program, add tremendous value to the CDF Freedom Schools program nationwide.

Now accepting applications for the 2018 service year. Applications must be completed and submitted on/by Monday, January 1, 2018. Apply today

Why Ella Baker?

Ella Baker was an integral leader in the Civil Rights Movement, organizing and mentoring hundreds of young people, Marian Wright Edelman among them. Often a powerful behind-the-scenes advisor to close colleagues like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker believed in shared leadership and encouraged young people to find and lift their own voices. She understood the need for hard, daily, persistent work, and was an institution builder.

Born in 1903 in Norfolk, Virginia, Ella Baker had a large extended family who shared what they had with the poor. She went to boarding school at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was valedictorian of her high school and college graduating classes. She moved to Harlem, and after working for a time as a domestic and a waitress, she got a job with the NAACP, where she rapidly rose through the ranks. Ella Baker was integral in creating a continuing movement out of the Montgomery bus boycott, which led to SCLC’s formation. She convinced Dr. King to bring 200 Black college students (including Marian Wright Edelman) who had been arrested for engaging in sit-in protests to open up lunch counters around the South to a meeting at her alma mater, Shaw University. SNCC was the meeting’s result.  

Ella Baker believed young people had the ability to make a definite impact in the Civil Rights Movement. Bob Moses called her the “Fundi,” the person in the community who masters a craft with the help of the community and teaches it to other people. Today, CDF honors her legacy and her lessons through CDF’s Ella Baker Child Policy Institute at the former Alex Haley Farm, where over 15,000 college students and recent graduates have been trained — shaped by the Ella Baker Trainers to deliver the model Integrated Reading Curriculum and to make learning fun for children.  

Become an Ella Baker Trainer!

What Are Ella Baker Trainer Responsibilities?

  • Deliver key components of the CDF Freedom Schools program at national training, such as the Integrated Reading Curriculum.
  • Serve as a resource for new and returning CDF Freedom Schools sponsor organizations; provide technical assistance and additional training at selected CDF Freedom Schools sites.
  • Assist in the seeding of new CDF Freedom Schools programs through training, workshop presentations, and site visits.
  • Fulfill other duties related to CDF Freedom Schools program development, support, and retention.

For a full list of responsibilities, refer to the Position Description section in the application linked below. 

Apply to Become an Ella Baker Trainer Now