Freedom Summer 2020

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. Join with students from across the country in helping connect disenfranchised citizens to political power this summer. Program runs July 6 – August 14.

A photo from 60's displaying multiethnic group singing

Photo credit: Ted Polumbaum, PRNewsFoto/Newseum


Learn how you can join a nationwide student movement to get out the vote!

Tuesday, May 12, 10:00 – 10:30 Register here

Monday, May 25, 11:30 – 12:00 Register here

Thursday, June 11, 2:00 – 2:30 Register here

Friday, June 26, 10:00 – 10:30 Register here

(All times are Pacific Standard Time) 

Co-sponsored by the African American Studies Department, Public Service Center, and the American Cultures Program at UC Berkeley


In a time of global pandemic, the 2020 election – the most historic election of our lives – is in peril. Students can and must help protect our democracy this year. Freedom Summer 2020 gives you a chance to be part of a nationwide virtual movement for voter engagement ahead of the historic 2020 election. Join with students from across the country in helping build the power and voice of low-wage worker voters who have been the most impacted by COVID-19 this summer. 

Although the coronavirus pandemic has brought most voter outreach efforts across the country to a halt, Freedom Summer 2020 is continuing with a completely virtual format from July 6  – August 14. Building on the original Freedom Summer in Mississippi, this program will allow you to take one 3-unit class in social movements and learn how to organize, develop leadership, and help people get out to vote, and then participate in a second 3-unit field course in which you will put those learnings into practice by organizing low-wage workers to vote over the phone and using a voter app. Join students from around the country in learning social movement organizing skills while conducting non-partisan relational voter engagement with hundreds of thousands of unlikely voters from around the country. 

In addition to fostering democratic engagement, participants will also earn 6 units of academic credit and a certificate in Social Movement Organizing from the UC Berkeley Social Movements Center. Enroll in the program (instructions below) today to guarantee participation! Contact Reed Levitt at if you have any questions.


For UC Berkeley students:

  1. Log into CalCentral.
  2. Enroll in classes for Summer 2020.
  3. Enroll in AAS 182AC (Course #15751) and AAS 197.1 (Course #11182).

For non-UC Berkeley students:

  1. Go to and click on the description that best describes you (if you are not currently enrolled as a student, you can still participate; simply follow the instructions for “Other Type of Students”).
  2. Complete the brief Summer Sessions application.
  3. Once completed, you will be emailed credentials to log in to CalCentral.
  4. Log in to CalCentral.
  5. Enroll in classes for Summer 2020.
  6. Enroll in AAS 182AC (Course #15751) and AAS 197.1 (Course #11182).


Option 1: 

  • Enroll in both AAS 182AC and AAS 197.1
  • Earn 6 units of course credit (satisfies American Cultures requirement)
  • Earn certificate from UC Berkeley Social Movements Center
  • Weekly time commitment: ~20 hours
  • Cost for UC students: $2870
  • Cost for non-UC students: $3750

Option 2:

  • Enroll in only AAS 182AC
  • Earn 3 units of course credit (satisfies American Cultures requirement)
  • Complete voter outreach internship, but receive no course credit for it
  • Weekly time commitment: ~20 hours
  • Cost for UC students: $1560
  • Cost for non-UC students: $2100

Option 3:

  • Enroll only in AAS 197.1
  • Earn 3 units of credit while completing voter outreach internship
  • Weekly time commitment: ~10 hours
  • Cost for UC students: $1560
  • Cost for non-UC students: $2100
Option 4:
  • Participate only in the unpaid voter outreach internship
  • Earn no academic credit
  • Weekly time commitment: ~10 hours (with some flexibility)
  • Cost: $0
  • Link to sign up:


Q: Can high schoolers participate?

A: Unfortunately, high schoolers cannot enroll in the classes, as university policy does not allow high schoolers to take upper division classes. However, high schoolers can absolutely participate in the internship portion of the program, completing voter engagement and outreach! To sign up for the internship, please complete the following Google form:

Q: Is there financial aid available for this program?

A: For UC students, if you are eligible for financial aid and enroll in all six units of the program, you will receive financial aid. Please reach out to the financial aid office for more information.

For non-UC students, please reach out to your home university’s financial aid office; they can often provide financial aid to cover your tuition costs, but you are responsible for making that arrangement.