Message from Akilah
“I felt compelled to bring the sounds of my current city into this episode. I literally missed my deadline to submit the raw audio, because Spirit said Don’t record that intro in the corner of your closet, Sis. Instead, open your window, let the city sound off while you try to speak to some of what you’re feeling. I obeyed. And later that evening, the voices and emotions of the people of Atlanta sounded off too, in the form of peaceful protest. I was able to see some of it from our apartment, and I watched with Kris, Marley, and Sage, swaying in between a stream of emotions ranging from anger to exhaustion. I didn’t know that the audio I was called to document, to hold, would be the calm before yet another storm here in the American South. Peaceful protests were interrupted by police; humans raged; the government retaliated; helicopters and curfews circled the city; more rage, more fear, more resistance.
Anti-Black racism and the myth of white supremacy are present and prevalent now, as has always been the case in this country. And while some shit stays the same–violent, horrific, hateful–some things are changing, too. Where are you finding positive change around you? Seek it out, amplify it, fixate if you need to. Do what you can to remind yourself that storms come and go, but we have, and will always, find ways to weather them, and eventually to thrive despite them. I believe that. I believe in Black people. I believe that we can organize and plan and divest and dismantle and learn and lead and listen and love our way to liberation.” #blacklivesmatter
In this fifth deschooling release party session we talk with Danii Oliver, mother of two children, unschooler and owner of the Natural Beverage Brands: Island to Island Brewery, House of Juice and Brooklyn Jun Brew. Until now we had been focusing on the pivot and what is deschooling causing to pivot away from. This time Danii tells us about how she gave it a different approach, she realized that for her, pivoting wasn’t liberation, she decided to do something else instead.
WHAT WE DISCUSS
Akilah talks about the importance of communal spaces and shares Deschooling: It’s A Thing!, an Eclectic Learning Network project, a global, monthly, virtual meetup for caregivers who are committed to explore ways to shift their parenting practices. This was made in joint effort with the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.
Community bonds us and makes us aware of the importance to pause and nurture ourselves. Akilah shares her experience joining in one of the community sessions with Nikolai and Takiema from Raising Readers, they give us great resources on Self-Directed Education and self care.
Danii kicks off our chat by sharing some insights from her own experience transitioning into unschooling. What she is noticing is thankfulness, in this particular time she is having the opportunity to slow down, to connect, to observe and think, to be present for her family and herself.
A kind of “nothingness” allowed Danii to observe and understand the boundaries in her family, making a stronger intergenerational bond. The ability to understand your child is how you know you are transitioning to a self-directed way. Observation is a life skill that we don’t learn in a schoolish setting.
They also talk about Deschooling as a community and how capitalism as a framework pretends to show our capacity to produce as all we are, but it actually limits and dehumanizes the self.
- Mental health support needs to be prioritized. What is interfering? Who can support us in critical or toxic behaviors from unresolved traumas? As we ask this questions to ourselves more people are interested in healing. Akilah shares Betterhelp.com as a resource for mental health. There is a broad range of expertise in the Betterhelp Counselor Network. FOFC subscribers have 10% off in their first month.
- Here is Danii giving us some insights on episode 149, Self-Reclamation and Self-Directed Education.
- Head over to Danii’s Instagram.
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- Pre-order Akilah’s book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work!
- Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.
- Support the show at patreon.com/akilah