One of the things I learned as an equity consultant for over a decade is that equity work is a practice of reducing harm as much as possible towards communities of people who the system of education was designed to produce that harm. Liberation work is a focus on dismantling the harm, which much to my chagrin, I’ve learned can only happen by creating a new system of education outside the current one. How do I know? Because when I opted to not enroll my children into traditional schooling about 5 yrs ago, I learned that the people most impacted by the system had figured it out. Home educators, leaders of self-directed learning centers, unschoolers…folx that my colleagues (and I at one time) disregarded and viewed as “unqualified” to have a say about teaching and learning…had been, for decades, creating liberatory learning spaces in the margins of society. I’m talking about BIPOC families, caregivers of children with different abilities, working class communities, LGBTQ families…people whom schooling was not designed for. These folx–my community today–are making it happen while so many educational scholars, researchers, etc. are looking in all the wrong places for “answers”.
Our work isn’t revolutionary. Our work is rooted in our ancestral ways of learning. It’s roots are simple, but complex in a modern day society when a return to simplicity would require a dismantling of so many paradigms that too many are not ready to shed. But, for those that are curious and for those that are ready, here is a piece I wrote for Education Reimagined outlining why I opted out of schooling and made the shift from equity to liberation.
Chemay is a social liberation & equity coach who founded My Reflection Matters, LLC in 2016. She is an unschooling mom of two brilliant, TriniRican boys. She loves traveling, going on adventures and exploring new things with her sons, reading, decorating, yoga, photography, and collecting funky art. (Read more on MRM’s About Page.)