Sojourner Truth, for whom The Sojourner Truth School is named, is the inspiration for Truth’s core values and also its overall approach to active learning.

Born into slavery, Sojourner Truth escaped to freedom with her daughter and later also gained freedom for her son when she became the first Black woman to sue a slave owner for the freedom of a child and win. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, she advocated fiercely for abolition and women's suffrage. Having never learned to read or write, she nevertheless became a formidable speaker and campaigner on a national level. She actively recruited Black troops for the Union Army, and after the war she came to Washington, D.C. to work with the Freedman’s Bureau. In D.C. she advocated forcefully for land grants for former slaves and eventually also for prison reform and prisoner’s rights. Throughout her life, she made an example of fostering community, identifying injustice, actively pursuing positive change, and always evolving and growing as an individual.

The Sojourner Truth School stands prepared to achieve its mission and meet the needs of D.C.’s diverse learners by adhering closely to the following core values, each of which was directly inspired by the life and work of Sojourner Truth:

  • Honor self-development

  • Pursue justice everywhere

  • Design for positive impact

  • Challenge the mind, body, and soul