Visions of Freedom at Washington College

IRPC’s Visions of Freedom in America program has a long and successful track record of educating high-school students. We have hosted week-long summer seminars, with a special focus on enrolling students from underserved backgrounds. We have an especially strong connection with Cambridge South Dorchester High School, a predominantly African American-serving high school near the College.

The staff of our Visions of Freedom program includes the Director of the program, Joseph Prud’homme, who is the Burton Family Chair in Religion, Politics, and Culture, Associate Professor of Political Science, Affiliated Faculty Member in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, and founding Director of the Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College; the program’s Co-Director, Rev. Dr. Charles Pinkett, who is the Pupil Personnel Specialist and community liaison for the Dorchester County Public Schools, working especially in the Cambridge South Dorchester High School; and a senior teacher at Cambridge South Dorchester High who is the head of the Social Sciences division and serves as associated faculty for Visions of Freedom.

Through this work, Visions of Freedom has developed special expertise in showcasing the indispensable contributions of minority women and men in the building of a free and equitable society. Seizing on its envious location in the heart of the Underground Railroad on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, as well as its close proximity to the cradle of American constitutionalism in Philadelphia, the seat of federal government power in Washington, DC, and the diverse communities of Baltimore, our program has established a wealth of high-level connections with leaders in government, think tanks, museums, community organizations, and places of worship with whom it works to advance its mission. We also have developed a robust set of mentoring and internship placement initiatives.

Students in our program reside at Washington College, a beautiful liberal arts college founded in 1782 with the support of General George Washington and the only college in the nation to bear his name with his express consent. Located in the colonial waterfront community of Chestertown, Maryland, the College is surrounded by a safe community ideal for sustained but unhurried reflection on life’s great questions. Expert scholars from Washington College and from universities and colleges across the region come to campus to assist with the instruction.

This program explores the writings and personal leadership of seminal champions of human liberty while mentoring students for future collegiate success and opening doors to a world of internship opportunities, especially for students that, until now, have been historically underserved.