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

Current Freedom Scholars focus on cutting-edge areas of scholarship as varied as feminist prison abolition, alternatives to movement capture, Indigenous erasure, and establishing a new social contract that addresses the history of white supremacy in the U.S. The Freedom Scholars represent long-term movement leaders newly entering academia, as well as long-term academics with a demonstrated commitment to supporting social movements.

Freedom Scholars awards represent a commitment to scholarship relevant to movements led by Black and Indigenous people, migrants and queer people, poor people and people of color. The awards also recognize the role that scholars play in cultivating and nurturing movements for justice and freedom.

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 Scholars award is currently invite-only. Questions about the Freedom Scholars awards can be sent to

Each Freedom Scholar receives a one-time, $250,000 award.

History is made by ordinary people but their role in this historical change is either hidden or distorted. I am most interested in making that history visible and usable. Scholarship at its best is accessible, digestible, and relevant — easily mobilized by those seeking to understand and change our current condition.”

Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

2021 Freedom Scholars

We invite you to click on each picture to learn more about a Freedom Scholar's work.

2020 Freedom Scholars