Marguerite Casey Foundation provides unrestricted support to leaders in academia whose research provides critical insight from and to social justice leaders and whose ideas encourage us to imagine how we can radically improve our democracy, economy and society.  

Launched in 2020, the Freedom Scholar awards exemplify a commitment to scholarship benefitting movements led by Black and Indigenous people, migrants and queer people, poor people, and people of color. The awards also recognize the role that Freedom Scholars play in cultivating and nurturing movements for justice and freedom. Awardees are proven movement leaders who entered academia and academics with a demonstrated commitment to supporting social movements.

Freedom Scholars conduct research in cutting-edge areas of scholarship as varied as feminist prison abolition, global urbanism, alternatives to movement capture, Indigenous erasure and militarized policing—critical fields of research that are often underfunded.  

Each Freedom Scholar receives a one-time $250,000 award. There are no restrictions to the award — it is designed to provide greater freedom to scholars, supporting them to advance their work however they see fit. The selection process for the Freedom Scholar awards is invite-only, and we do not accept outside submissions or nominations. 

CLASS OF 2022
Davarian L. Baldwin, PhD
Jared A. Ball, PhD
Noura Erakat, JD
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, PhD
Sarah Haley, PhD
Mariame Kaba
Derecka Purnell, JD
Beth E. Richie, PhD
Dean Spade, JD
Olúfémi O. Táíwò, PhD

Learn more about the work
of the Freedom Scholars:

Check out more of our Freedom Scholars!

Freedom Scholar Class of 2020 link
Freedom Scholar link of 2022
View all the Freedom Scholars

What to learn more about the Freedom Scholars?
Questions about the Freedom Scholar awards can be sent to freedomscholars@caseygrants.org.

Additional support for the Freedom Scholar awards has been provided by the Group Health Foundation.