podcastSeason 4


By March 4, 2020 No Comments

Audio Producer

Juan P. Perez


Fatima Mookadam


Valerie Anderson

Akilah Richards: hosts this widely celebrated podcast, Fare of the Free Child, that features more than 150 episodes on Self-Directed Education among Black,non-Black Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. She is the author of the forthcoming book Raising Free People, and she and her partner are raising two self-directed daughters.

This week we are replaying Episode 74 which would be 87 episodes and 691 days ago!


–  What do we mean by “raising free people”?

–  What does it mean when disabilities intersect with Self-Directed Education?

–  How do students with disabilities thrive in this educational philosophy?

–  In what ways are needs unmet?

–  How do we define disability in a society where ability is the default? And,   who gets to define this term?

– How might we be unconsciously perpetuating ableism in our SDE communities? How do we best respond?

– How can we be the best facilitators, parents, supporters and practitioners of Self-Directed Education for young people with all kinds of bodies and minds?

Basically, when we say we’re raising free people, we’ve decided that respect and love, not fear and control, will be how we raise and regard the youngest members of our homes and our society. It’s a form of respectful parenting, but even more so, it’s about living out our belief in liberation to the benefit of children and ourselves. Calling it “raising free people work, or rfp work” is our way of acknowledging that this IS work, and that there ARE tools and people and books and events and public groups and private groups to support this type of conscious parenting, respectful parenting, liberation-mindedness that is inclusive of the ones who tend to bear the weight of our unhealed wounds, our not-yet-adults.


Akilah wanted to replay this episode because she thinks its perfect timing based on what’s coming up over the next few weeks but before doing so, here are a few updates and four things to share with you.

  • By the time this first airs — which will be on Wednesday, March 3, 2020 — Akilah will be on the eve of her trip to Orlando, FL for PodFest Expo which she’s super excited about.  She used to do conferences back in the day as a professional blogger. Some of them were pretty good — others, kind of boring – but she hasn’t been on the conference scene outside of things where she gets invited to be a speaker or facilitator. She’s been enjoying lately, the few instances where some people are starting to unschool the conference experience. PodFest Expo, she feels, is for podcast nerds like herself and she won a ticket!  She’s excited about it particularly because she’s focused on sponsorship and running a podcast network this year and finding real community in the podcast world since that’s where she currently lives! For real, for real, and she loves it BIG!  She’s hopeful that she gets some connection and strategies for making this podcast and Raising Free People Network even better.  You’ll be kept updated.
  • She leaves Florida and flies to Texas for South by Southwest Edu, and will be talking more about that opportunity in the coming weeks, but she’s curious about South by Southwest Edu. Y’all know about that? Let her know what you think. She’s heading there with a sistah-friend who is familiar to you from this podcast, again, more on that in the coming weeks, but will be there March 9 -13, so if you hearing this before that, send on the details, message her at she@akilahsrichards.com or DM her on Instagram @fareofthefreechild as a lot of you already do. Would love to hear from you!
  • She also plans to be in Los Angeles in August and September, and as always, loves to connect with communities where people are intentional about liberation work that includes children and our relationships with children, and ones that are exclusively for Black folks, Non-Indegenous Black folks and people of color. What does she need to know about Los Angeles that she can get together with folks about in August or September? Well, she’s feeling through a live jawn there in LA with Maleka Diggs and a couple other folks, (not sure yet) so, input is needed!! So again friends, send on the details, message Akilah about California happenings or potential happenings in August and September of this year, at she@akilahsrichards.com or DM her on Instagram @fareofthefreechild. She’ll be reaching out to the folks at ALLHEART podcast and see if they can “bubble up a stew” together for that time of year so y’all, tell her at @allheartpodcast what you’d love to see them get into together… she’s curiousss!
  • Akilah is super excited about a particular save-the-date note that she got from The Heartwood Agile Learning Center here in Clarkston metro, Atlanta, Georgia, for the 2020 Learning and Liberation Summit. This year’s theme is: Mental, Physical, Cognitive and Developmental Disability in Self-Directed Education and the tentative date is April 25, 2020, in Atlanta, GA.
    Shout out to Julia, Anthony, and CJ at Heartwood ALC for their diligent work in serving Atlanta’s unschooling and other self-directed communities with a real focus on addressing bias and inequity in race, in abilities, in age, in socioeconomic status, all of that figuring-it-out-together work is exactly how we build out what we need instead of surrendering to not-it shit. So more on the 2020 Learning and Liberation Summit as soon as we get more details. The topic this year, again, is: Mental, Physical, Cognitive and Developmental Disability in Self-Directed Education, and it’s set to happen April 25, 2020. If you are not connected to The Heartwood Agile Learning Center through your social media channels, please do so through their link at the bottom of these show notes page raisingfreepeople.com/161.

Okay, as promised, here’s a replay of Episode 74, entitled “What is Raising Free People?” 

Plenty love, catch you next week!


  1.   Sign up for Akilah’s email list (see link list).
  2.   Akilah will be in California August and September this year; want to collaborate? Reach out: she@akilahsrichards.com or DM @fareofthefreechild
  3. Connect with the Heartwood Agile Learning Center (see link list)
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