Fare of the Free Child

Akilah S. Richards

Fare of the Free Child podcast focuses on Black people, Indigenouse people, and People of Color (BIPOC) families who practice unschooling and other forms of Self-Directed, decolonized living and learning. Each weekly episode examines a particular way that we’ve accepted coercive, emotionally and physically damaging habits as a normal part of adu

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Welcome to another episode of Fare Of The Free Child Podcast.  This week, our intention is to expand our understandings of deschooling and self-directedness beyond children and education. So, let’s listen to Part 1 of a conversation between a 20-something freelance marketing and social media consultant and a 40-something year old creative branding entrepreneur about discerning between capitalism and community.What Kris Richards and Roman Sinclair began to explore in this conversation is that if we go deep and question further, we can begin the level of liberation and healing to redefine and revitalize our relationship dynamics across generations.WHAT WE DISCUSSWe are so hyped because Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work book is finally here! Please support independent publishing and order Akilah’s book from PM Press.If you’re hosting a book club around this or you’re hosting a convo around it, Akilah will love to be part of it, so reach out to our Operations Manager, Fatima Mookadam at fatima@raisingfreepeople.comKris and Romain talk out loud about their own deschooling around their perspectives on community. They talk about the importance of discernment in those moments when support becomes more of a leveraging that brands use to promote themselves.Kris points out the importance of connecting with companies as businesses, not communities. If a company wants to help they should know the community, listen to them, understand their realities and see how they can make an impact in a different way, but capitalism doesn't come from a human approach, and we need to know that, and operate accordingly.LIBERATION WALKSending special 101st would-have-been birthday love to my favorite poet, lecturer, performance artist, and activist Dr. Louise Bennett - Coverley, you can read one of her piece, Colonization in Reverse, hereRegister for the second course, Stories Of Our Past from the Ours First Series, offered by Kelly Limes-Taylor. Registration begins on October 25. Classes begin on the week of November 8th and ends on the week of December 6th!Support the show at patreon.com/akilahSubscribe to Akilah’s Youtube ChannelSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Sep 16

40 min

Today’s episode is a deschooling conversation with the amazing Domari Dickinson. Domari chats with Akilah about how she became more aware of what it took for her to begin, moving away from a controlling approach and towards more positive and purposeful parenting.WHAT WE DISCUSSDomari speaks from her own experience as a Black woman on how the resources and theory about homeschooling lacked diversity. She didn’t see herself or her family represented, in homeschooling communities online and in books and podcasts. Domari homeschooled her children for two years before sending them to public school.  Her children immediately had conflicts because of the way that their teachers were managing their learning processes, so they asked to go back to homeschooling.Domari and Akilah also talk about what positive parenting means and how moving from a schoolish setting to a more partner centered way of being allows trust to happen, supporting practices can create an environment where children can feel safe reaching out to their parents.ANNOUNCEMENTSDeschooling work for adults: Remember that Intuition Work from the Ours First Series, offered by Kelly Limes-Taylor, is now open for registration. Classes begin the week of September 13th and ends the week of October 11th!From October 2nd to October 4th the National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) is hosting their Virtual Conference, Age of Youth! It's happening from the evening of Friday, October 2nd to the evening of Sunday, October 4th. Register at ageofyouth.eventbrite.com.We are so excited to announce our second Presence Counselor Anthony Galloway, Jr. He focuses on unschooling and deschooling for families and organizations, as well as people looking to create or grow a Self-Directed Education school or center.LIBERATION WALKFor our stress management is vital to sleep well and rest, shout out to Kim and Jamal Hester from Life Strength & Health holistic center for recommending Akilah Avocado Green Mattress, 100% organic latex, wool and cotton. You as a Fare Of The Free Child listener get a special discount of $215 dollars OFF when you use the code ‘fareofthefreechild’Book a free consultation with Domari hereFollow Domari on Instagram and Facebook for more healing resourcesWant to be part of the Parent Collective to start making the shift? Click here Support the show at patreon.com/akilahOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donateSubscribe to Akilah’s Youtube ChannelJoin our Facebook groupSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Sep 9

37 min

Today's episode features Shawna Murray-Browne, a community healer and the founder of Kindred Community Healing, licensed clinical social worker. Akilah and Shawna go deep and talk about the skill sets that allow a professional to see the whole person and how the quality of care is not taking into account the whole spectrum, the collective experience, because true healing happens in community. They also talk about collective trauma and what liberation looks like when we decolonize practices that have been rooted from a settler-colonial framework.Shawna points out the importance of relationship skills and collective healing by remembering our roots, how do we heal collective trauma? It's about thriving, taking therapy out of these containers, these concepts that have been naturalized as an only truth. She started a virtual space for mental health professionals who are looking to liberate themselves and their practices. You can find it on her webinar replay, 6 Crucial Steps to Decolonize Your Therapy Practice. Support and receive more quality content from Shawna, full of black healing, resistance and African psychology on patreon.com/shawnamurraybrowne. You can also find her on Instagram.We are also sending so much love to the people that have been affected by the multiple troubled and heightened realities happening right now. We are handling so many emotions at once, and it can be exhausting. Deschooling and self-awareness work can keep ourselves at the center of a collective liberation, and being in community can help us thrive in spite of the circumstances that we may be living in our daily context.ANNOUNCEMENTS:We are so excited because Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work book is almost here, click here to Pre-order.Don't forget that Kelly Limes-Taylor is offering an opportunity to get closer to self-directed practices through a process (in the form of a course) called Intuition Work.Another fantastic course, offered by Bayo Akomolafe, is called We Will Dance With Mountains, Let Us Make Sanctuary. Bayo has authored two books, We Will Tell Our Own Story! and These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home. He Also happens to be the Foreword author of Raising Free People's book, and Akilah will be joining Bayo for a session of his course.Shout out to our Make it Happen Family members! Thanks for all your support and love. If you want to become a member and get more quality content click here.Akilah was invited by Dr. Shefali Tsabary from Superpowered Summit to a summit event in September, Raising Resilient Kids in the Pandemic and Beyond, where 15 World-renowned Experts teach Resilience skills and mindfulness insights. You can register here!LIBERATION WALKAnother great resource from Shawna: Decolonizing Therapy for Black FolkSubscribe to Akilah’s Youtube ChannelSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Sep 2

55 min

Today's episode is full of liberation and healing talk with life learner Dominique of DommiesBlessed. She shares some insights on natural learning, which we’re hoping will usher in changes around learning and relationship-building. Check out Dommie’s blog on natural learning.WHAT WE DISCUSSBefore we talk to Dommie, Akilah gives a shout out to entrepreneurs, Kim and Jamal Hester, creators and developers of Life Strength & Health holistic center. Listen to their podcast for more healing work!Also, as we are raising free people and nurturing self-care habits, check out the latest episode of the She Said We Shed Podcast, hosted by Aja Marie. Click here to subscribe to all five podcasts on Raising Free People Network.Today, as we deschool with Dominique on the topic of natural learning, we are mad question askin’ about how learning looks and feels. The intention inside this episode is discover, or perhaps explore, a more intuitive and self-directed way of imagining and practicing self-care. Self-care is a key aspect that needs to be nurtured if willing to raise a free person, it’s fundamental for healing and liberation work.Dominique shares the experience that she had with a more schoolish setting for her children and how she ended up homeschooling them for the best. She also talks about how natural learning shows up for families as healing work and the importance of focusing on practical life skills, paying attention to what your children are passionate about and what their strengths are, so that we can learn how to  support learning in a holistic way. Natural learning as the enhancement of our human skills and love centered guidance from family and from lots of different places.In parent-children relationships we see a partnership. Learning is something that’s done together and the practices and skills that both develop also need to be mindful on how to take care of each other, the process of taking care of our children as we take care of ourselves. Co-learning with our children as a collaborative approach based on trust.Click here to get 40% off the signed, special edition hardcover of Akilah’s book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work! First, go to "Format," then you'll see the arrow for the drop-down menu. Then, click that drop-down menu arrow and then select the "Signed hardcover" format. Type "unschooling" (no quotation marks) in the coupon code section to activate the discount. You will get 40% off the signed, special edition hardcover.LIBERATION WALKIn episode 182 Chemay Morales-James from My Reflection Matters community, shared My Reflection Matters Village, a virtual co-learning community for primarily BIPOC families that can be looking for support in raising and educating free peopleDon't forget that the amazing Kelly Limes-Taylor is offering a course series called The Ours First SeriesOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donateSubscribe to Akilah’s Youtube ChannelJoin our Facebook groupSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Aug 26

39 min

Episode 182 is a mix of communal spaces, tools, resources and of course liberation talk. Genesis Ripley will be joining us to chat about shadow work and the importance of being more aware of our unconscious as we are moving into a more self-directed way of being. Genesis is an LA-based mother, natural learning advocate, decolonizer by design and unschooler momma. We’ll also be sharing some great resources and invitations to continue through this healing and self awareness process, and you’ll hear from Kelly Limes-Taylor and Chemay Morales-James about ways to do that work.WHAT WE DISCUSSKelly Limes-Taylor, is a former college professor and unschooler mother of five. Kelly speaks about the relevance in naming our failed structures and how these structures, built on a settler-colonial framework, are reinforced through conventional schooling. Kelly points out the importance of trusting our intuition and brings us a valuable resource: she is offering a course series called The Ours First Series in order to help adults to settle into the practice of listening to their intuition and themselves for their own answers. Another communal space shared by Chemay Morales-James from My Reflection Matters community, is a virtual co-learning community for primarily BIPOC families that can be looking for support in raising and educating free people. My Reflection Matters Village seeks to create a virtual space that supports caregivers that may be wanting or are already on the path of self-directed education with their children, offering access to resources that can help them in their deschooling processes.  Akilah and Genesis have a conversation full of layers on the topic of liberation and healing work as it relates to the unconscious. Self-directed skills to embody the level of confident autonomy in partnership with children.Genesis shares the importance of Shadow Work and why we can't continue to contemplate the world in a binary spectrum, ignoring the nuances, ignoring the shadows that are also part of it.  She also points out the importance of diversity as sacred, intellectualizing the plights and issues without the people involved is to dehumanize and undermine the voices that need to be heard.  LIBERATION WALKGenesis wrote an insightful piece emphasizing anti-Blackness called Essay: Shadow Work as Embodied Anti-Racism WorkCheck out Genesis’ previous episode: Episode 39: Mask-Free RelationshipsPre-order Akilah’s Raising Free People book hereSubscribe to Akilah’s Youtube ChannelOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donateSupport the show at patreon.com/akilah  Join our Facebook groupSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Aug 19

52 min

Welcome back, homies (and new homies, too)! Y’all ready for season 5? In today’s episode Akilah shares ideas and invitations for what’s to come in the new season of Fare Of The Free Child.WHAT WE DISCUSSAkilah talks about deschooling and unschooling, not as something we learn from a curriculum nor a thing we perform, but as a way of being. It’s through the experiences and different points of view that we get to understand the otherness, question our own truths as part of a liberation work, and work at understanding more than being understood. She touches on the naming and shrinking the ways that we've been forced to separate things in a schoolish way, and how that needs to be decolonized, not only in our learning process but in our relationships overall. We have the capacity and resources to thrive and heal through these embodiment practices, so this season will be all about the ways we have done that, and can do it more, and in community.We’ve also got more goodness in store through Raising Free People Network’s Presence Counselors. Besides Leslie Bray who will be doing one-on-one support for the people transitioning from schoolish to self-directed ways of living and learning, there are a couple of new folks in the mix, including more collaborations with Maleka Diggs and some incredible offerings by Kelly Limes-Taylor. Lastly, here’s the big invitation: We need your help to share more local stories, experiences, conversations to know what is happening with self-directedness in different places. If you're willing to send voice messages to Akilah's team so that your local raising free people work can be shared with the Fare of the Free Child community, click here. LIBERATION WALKSubscribe to Akilah’s Youtube ChannelOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donateSupport the show at patreon.com/akilah  Join our Facebook groupSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Aug 12

32 min

We are so ready for some indoor plant tips from Plant It Up Podcast. As a close-out for the fourth season we decided to do one more episode with @valandourplants - you’re welcome :) And remember, Akilah will be back on August 12th with Season 5! In the meantime, listen as Val (Akilah’s resident plant lady who also happens to be her Mama!) talks about the importance of having plants at home and shares some of her favorites, along with the many benefits of each one. There’s a special appearance by Marley Richards too, ‘cause we ‘bout that intergenerational life! Enjoy!LIST OF PLANTS MENTIONED:Peace Lily, Rubber Tree Plant, Bamboo Plant: purify the air in the home and remove toxins from paintLavender: improves sleep qualityMint (Spearmint and peppermint): great for teas and drinksRosemary: great scent and helps with memorySpider Plant, English Ivy, Philodendrons: remove formaldehyde from the air at homeAloe Vera, Pothos Plant: maintain the quality of the air in the homeSnake Plant: absorbs carbon dioxide inside the homePalm plant: provides more oxygen and reduces dust levels at homeOrchids: beautifies the look and feel of the home LIBERATION WALKSubscribe to Val’s Youtube Channel and Pinterest pageListen to the first episode of Plant it Up Podcast: 'Cause Ginger Roots Brings Her JoyOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donateSupport the show at patreon.com/akilah  Join our Facebook groupSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jul 29

11 min

Welcome to the fourth season finale of Fare of the Free Child! Today’s episode features Kris Richards, he and Akilah will be talking about some upcoming surprises and topics for the fifth season.We also shout out the members of our Make It Happen Family; thank you all for your comments and support! Akilah just saw more than a hundred comments on her  Youtube Channel, particularly from the How Good Morning America Got Unschooling Wrong video, some of them from you, dear family! Thanks for that, and be sure to subscribe for more information and conversations about love and liberation work.WHAT WE DISCUSS:Akilah will be taking a little break but the podcast will be back on August 12th with more amazing content.We wanted to thank all the listeners for the messages and support we got for our zeroversary. We are excited to have new people coming in for season 5 as well as some of our previous guests like Moji Yai, Maleka Diggs, and Kelly Henderson.Kris and Akilah give us a sneak peak of some of the topics that will be part of next season. They go deep and chat about how unschooling can’t be seen just as an alternative for education but as part of a healing and liberation process that is not only up for children but also for parents in order to connect with different perspectives and create opportunities for communal growth and self discovery. They want to offer tools and resources for both people that may be in a phase of discovery and people that have lived this as an everyday struggle throughout their lives.Akilah talks about the importance of intergenerational connection, looking back at our ancestors and the self. We can learn how to be in community, young and elder, with an exchange of knowledge and not as a controlling approach. Discerning between the moments when support becomes more sort of a leveraging way brands use to promote themselves, capitalism and community... these and many more topics will be discussed in the new season.The Homeschool Association of California is having their 30th annual Conference, this will be celebrated from August 6 to 9 through a virtual platform. For the past three years Akilah and her family have been involved and invited. This time Akilah will be doing two workshops, one called ”Shifting from schooling to Self-Directed”, and another one called ”Deschooling our Communications, practical practices for being a better listener to children and teens”. Check it out here.Check out our Liberation Walk in the full show notes page.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jul 22

33 min

We are so hyped about today's episode because the day of publishing, July 10th, marks our zeroversary, the 4-year anniversary of Episode 0! It's been quite a journey since Akilah started Fare of the Free Child podcast back in the summer of 2016. Even though it started from a painful place, we feel so very thankful to the community that has come from this podcast—our listeners and members of our Make it Happen Family—for the support and love through all these years. Here you can listen to Episode 0, Welcome and Why This Show, where it all began. Today, in the middle of some painful realities, we hold on to ways to move outside these injustices. We stay resilient through happiness, not afraid to speak up, from a space of awareness and love. We invite you to celebrate that with us today, doing whatever feels good for you.WHAT WE DISCUSSAkilah recently launched From Schoolish to Self-directed, an audio course in support of the transition that many are experiencing as this pandemic ushers in a swift shift from conventional learning ideas over to innovative ones that center people and learning in various ways, using technology and creativity more than memorization and predefined curriculum.To celebrate four years of Fare Of The Free Child, Akilah announces Raising Free People Network's first Presence Counselor, Leslie Bray, who you already have heard from and will be joining us on today’s episode. Leslie is  a community organizer and will be doing one-on-one support for the people transitioning from schoolish to self-directed ways of living and learning. Here you can listen to previous episodes with Leslie giving us some insights: Self-Care + Sacred Space and Leslie Talks Conscious Community Collectives.Akilah and Leslie chat about boundaries and self-care as we are constantly deschooling, not necessarily transitioning.Part of the conditioning that we carry based on a schoolish mindset is the comparison. We’ve all been indoctrinated at different levels, and much of this conditioning comes from a colonized space. Comparing yourself and your children with others and their processes will duplicate a schoolish setting at home. Leslie invites us to put self-care (ours and our children’s) above all of these insecurities.Observe, ask, and listen, that is how you get to support, facilitate and advocate for your children. It is not true that being self-directed means that children have to figure out everything by themselves. The key is to figure out when is enough for you as a parent to help and advocate for them, by establishing boundaries in order to nurture self-care skills. Leslie also points out that we need different things at different times, as we are dynamic also our behaviors and practices at home will depend on each person and circumstances. Everyone is different but we all need communal support. You have to want to be free, you have to want to learn, and be willing to question everything you thought as part of your liberation work.LIBERATION WALKBook a free consult for Presence Counseling with Leslie Bray.Shoutout to Shawna Murray-Browne, community healer and founder of Kindred Community Healing. Here you can find Decolonizing Therapy for Black Folk.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jul 10

70 min

Episode 177 features podcaster Howard Cosmonaut Palmer. His podcast explores inner universes through mindful guided meditation. Today Cosmo gives us some tools to center both harmony and joy, important aspects of our liberation work. Find his podcast: Only Black CosmonautWHAT WE DISCUSSOur lives are under a constant saturation of feelings and thoughts as a result of a subconscious conditioning from a schollish framework and due to the exhaustion in our daily context. Cosmo talks about learning how to be in control has been the biggest part of our conditioning, it’s in the acceptance and letting go that we can find peace within ourselves.The hardest part of this conditioning are the expectations that we put on people and situations in life. Cosmo uses the juggler as an analogy in life, we are the jugglers that happen to be managing multiple realities and pains at the same time. In order to handle this, we can learn to trust our inner selves, relying on intuition and letting go the fear of not being able to handle all at once.LIBERATION WALKShoutout to Shawna Murray-Browne, community healer and founder of Kindred Community Healing. Here you can find her webinar replay, 6 Crucial Steps to Decolonize Your Therapy Practice.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.com. In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that s Betterhelp.com has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers have 10% off in their first month.  #sponsored #verifiedJoin our Facebook group.Support the show at patreon.com/akilah Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jul 1

27 min

Last episode Akilah talked about the importance of our capacity of resistance and the relevance of trusting our dynamic selves in order to find balance to center our joy. Today’s episode is about Black Joy, and how happiness can be understood as a way of liberation and activism. Can joy be a radical way of resistance?WHAT WE DISCUSSMarley, Akilah’s daughter, shares some thoughts on Black Joy and how she perceives happiness as a way of resistance. The way Black people live their lives doesn’t have to be a constant struggle, people are capable of having multiple feelings. Joy and happiness can be a conduit through liberation.We then listen to the first episode from Plant It Up, a podcast hosted by Val Sinclair, Akilah’s mom, where she celebrates the power and pleasure of plants. Beyond the health benefits and plant-care advice, these stories are related to self-care and liberation work practices that lead us towards a better understanding of human relationships and our connection with nature. In this episode, Akilah and Val chat about their experiences with ginger as a nutritional and medicinal source.This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.com. In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. Maybe you, yourself, have been thinking about what’s interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that s Betterhelp.com has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers have 10% off in their first month.  #sponsored #verifiedLIBERATION WALKBe sure to follow Shawna Murray-Browne, community healer and founder of Kindred Community Healing. Here you can find her webinar replay, 6 Crucial Steps to Decolonize Your Therapy Practice.Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Join our Facebook group.Support the show at patreon.com/akilah  Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jun 24

26 min

Ways we’re sharing our feelings and experiencesLast week we took a pause in our Deschooling Release Party to address everything that was happening with the protests and related feelings. That same week another life, that of Rayshard Brooks, was taken by violent police officers. It feels necessary to take some space and talk about it, and we’re gonna take however long we feel is needed. As we talked about in the last episode, these disruptive times make us more reflective, but also can fill us with emotions that can turn/become overwhelming. In order to provide more communal spaces and healing resources, Akilah is offering more invitations and tools that can help with breaking the patterns of oppression, in resistance, from a space of love, education and self-care. The main message in this episode is this: discussing and sharing is important, but action is vital to our capacity to thrive.Find the complete show notes page with useful resources at https://www.raisingfreepeople.com/175/LIBERATION WALKOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Join our Facebook group.Akilah’s book Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work signed hardcover edition is now available. Publishers said since we’re out here selling pre-orders, let’s offer something special. Enter the coupon code unschooling for a 40% discount. When you go to the webpage to pre-order, you'll see the "format" dropdown menu where the default item is the paperback. Click that dropdown menu and then select the "Signed hardcover" format.This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.com. In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. Maybe you, yourself, have been thinking about what’s interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that s Betterhelp.com has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers have 10% off in their first month. #sponsored #verifiedSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jun 17

32 min

In today's episode we are making a pause from our Deschooling Release Party Vol. 2. Akilah addresses anti-blackness and its consequences. These disruptive times are making us more aware and reflective, and we have so many reminders and invitations to be more present.WHAT WE DISCUSSIn the summer of 2016 Akilah was starting Fare Of The Free Child, a podcast with the purpose of amplifying the underrepresented voices and unique concerns of Black people and other people of color, looking for viable alternatives to oppressive systems, ways to practice more self-directed ways. This was also a result of the communications that were happening when Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were lynched by the police.Akilah shares her story about the first direct physical encounter with a violent police officer in her early teen years. This shows as a continuous pattern, Philando and Alton back in 2016, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020, history repeats itself. Akilah talks about how this gets her tired.It’s in the collective, in the stories of the unheard, of the ancestral knowledge, that we can hold on and speak out, inspire change and demand that shit, too. Live into it despite attempts to dehumanize and colonize.Mad Question-Askin’What are some ways that you are being supported right now?Where are some spaces or relationships that you are being supportive right now?Akilah shares some episodes that she believes can be supportive right now.LIBERATION WALKOrganizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donate.Here's Maleka, Melissa and Bria’s Deschooling Group.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.Check out Akilah’s article, Fear of the Free Black Child – Alternatives to Fear-Based Parenting Amid Police Violence.Join our Facebook group.Pre-order Akilah’s book.This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.com. In our Black and in broader BIPOC communities, self-care, community care, mental health care—the need and means to prioritizing these—are encouragingly increasing in conversation. Maybe you, yourself, have been thinking about what’s interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals. BIPOC people are so interested in healing, that we are discerning the ways that therapy and mental health support needs decolonization so that it isn’t harmful and IS in fact effective for us. In Akilah’s search for that, she has found that Betterhelp has been a great resource for her mental health. She was able to center her preferences and only choose from mental health professionals who, at base, wouldn’t seem to be in conflict or out of context for my particular beliefs and preferences. There is a broad range of expertise in the Betterhelp Counselor Network. Explore for yourself, and use this link Betterhelp.com because Fare of the Free Child Podcast subscribers Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jun 10

25 min

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.” #blacklivesmatterIn 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.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.This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.com. Akilah shares Betterhelp.com/fareofthefreechild as a resource for mental health. FOFC subscribers have 10% off in their first month.Here's Danii on episode 149, Self-Reclamation and Self-Directed Education.Here's Danii’s Instagram.Pre-order Akilah’s book.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jun 3

60 min

Welcome to the fourth Deschooling Release Party (DRP) session, a celebration of our commitment to unlearning oppression in our relationships with children and Self. Volume I was about self-care and this one (Volume II) is about pivoting from fear and panic over into what we're being guided to do. Melinda Alexander will be joining us to talk about the role in ritual in her mothering. More recently, she and her son Raider, started transitioning from schoolishness to unschooling.“If you travel down a long ass road and find the intersection— of art, feminism, fashion, Buddhism, social justice and motherhood— you’ll find me standing there in a MuMu, having a yard sale, raising money for Black Lives Matter.” - Melinda AlexanderMelinda is an LA-based mother, activist, and entrepreneur. Influenced by her parents work as longtime anti-racist, civil rights organizers, both art and social justice kept at her center. After having her baby in a tumultuous transition/divorce, her life changed. The work she does now, which she calls Women’s Work, helps other women find their voice as part of a liberation and unlearning process, “Getting Free”.Melinda is raising Raider, her Black son in an anti-Black power structure, with a feminist, social justice-oriented focus. WHAT WE DISCUSS Akilah and Melinda talk about the questions that are driving us in the direction of commiting to raising free people and how deschooling and unlearning show up in that experience. Raider was depressed and did not get used to the school structure. Melinda saw this and advocated for her son by emailing the teachers, it ultimately ended up in them transitioning to unschooling.In her own experience as a former school teacher, Melinda shares some insights on how a scoolish structure can limit the children in certain contexts. Intrinsic value is not possible in a school setting, unless you are completely self-directed. Based on the pursuit of validation (did I do well?), the children have never been given a choice and always have been told what to do, and how to do it. By the time they finish school, they don’t know anything about themselves. They conclude that partnership and listening are what facilitate an emergent structure. The child is the curriculum and the parents are the facilitators, both are students and teachers.  Thank you for your feedback on episode 170, we are always happy to hear from all of you! We were honoring mothering in its various forms and also launching our family of podcasts.LIBERATION WALKIn order to continue through this journey of healing and self awareness process we invite you to subscribe to all five podcasts on Raising Free People Network, our liberation work platform.Join our Facebook group.  Head over to Melinda’s website and instagram for more musings on love and liberation.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-19Support the show at patreon.com/akilahSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

May 27

60 min

If you enjoy this podcast, this is your kind of reading! Pre-order Akilah’s book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work!We are back with our Deschooling Release Party sessions, Volume II. In today’s episode Akilah talks with Natalie Pipkin, founder of Black World Schoolers and Pulse Project Indy, a drumming community that promotes social, cultural and emotional development in vulnerable spaces. Her project seeks to disrupt dominant oppressive narratives, providing an environment of psychological empowerment through cultural awareness.WHAT WE DISCUSS:Natalie, like Kelly did in episode 169, tells us very early on what she’s noticing is actually stuff she has always felt, but feels uniquely compelled during this time, to pivot away from just noticing, over to acting upon. Natalie talks about problematic elements of the focus on Black Excellence and the dynamics that are involved when that excellence is rooted in white supremacy. Akilah and Natalie then go further and chat about the realities of unschooling as a privileged space, in some regards. They talk about how unschooling is not an option for all families, not every home is a safe environment, and if oppression at home exists, schools can become an escape from a tougher reality, there’s a certain privilege in choosing to homeschool. LIBERATION WALKCheck out Black Worldschoolers and their Storytime Hotline: 1-844-950-1811. Here you can find Natalie’s drumming community Pulse Project Indy and their blog.Make sure you head over to Maleka’s Patreon to see some webinar series that she’s been working on as a support for parents during these unusual times.Chill out and jam along with the rhythm of Buju Banton “Mr Nine”.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/akilahJoin our Facebook group. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

May 20

47 min

We’re interrupting our Deschooling Release Party flow to focus on the energy of Mother’s Day. In this episode, Akilah and Aja will talk about the four mothers whose new are coming to join Fare of the Free Child on Raising Free People Network: Val Sinclair, Katrina Monique, Lou Hollis, and Aja herself.Aja chats with us about her relationship with motherhood and how it can impact our leadership and relationships. Her podcast, She Said, We Shed is a journey of discovery throughout the dynamics of what mothering can mean, and how types of mothering vary drastically, including the reality of Black Mama Trauma. We also introduce Plant It Up, a podcast where Val, Akilah’s mom, shares how the practices and dynamics of taking care of plants can be related to our own ways of interacting and connecting with the people around us. These stories are related to self-care and liberation work, a set of topics that lead us toward better understandings of human relationships. One of the other mamas is Katrina, whose podcast, How She Got Free, is inspired by a book that she and Akilah wrote together. Her podcast is designed to show us the benefits of sometimes speaking out from wounded spaces, it can be part of how we generate healing for ourselves and invite others to acknowledge and name their own healing needs too.How to be empowered when you don’t feel like yourself, to make a pause in your life and manage it after an altering shift? With “Grief, Growth, and Goals” the fifth podcast on the Raising Free People Network, Lou shares her experience after making massive changes in her life, the process of healing through self talk and embracing her vulnerability. Liberation and deschooling are inextricably linked, as the result of a joint work, based on experiences that had shaped ourselves and others in order to contribute on a healing and self awareness process and to continue on this journey we invite you to subscribe to all five podcasts on Raising Free People Network.LIBERATION WALKListen to Aja’s Podcast She Said, We Shed and subscribe to her email list at shesaidweshed.Join Katrina’s community, How She Got Free.Here you can preorder my new book Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work.Some insights from Aja on previous episodes, Healing Black Mama Trauma, The Practice of Reparenting Ourselves, Deschooling Intergenerational Trauma as Daughter & as Mother.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/akilahJoin our Facebook group Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

May 10

46 min

At the top of this episode, I share the pre-order status for my book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work! If you enjoy this podcast, this is your kinda reading party right here. Pre-order your copy today.In this second deschooling release party session, we will be sharing thoughts with college professor and unschooler mother of five, Kelly Limes Taylor about the effects of our current times on all institutions, schooling and leadership issues being among the plights that we are urgently being called, as a society to face.Kelly invites us to consider the ways that our own patterns in life are often conduits for deeply valuable lessons. She shares her experience as a single mom, moving from a metropolitan area to a small town, moving on from divorce, and holding space, as an educator, for students who are feeling overwhelmed by the sudden shift in how education, outside of conventional school context, is being handled today. Kelly also speaks to the relevance of naming our failed structures, and how these structures, built on a settler-colonial framework, were not sustainable to begin with, and yet are reinforced through conventional schooling. Indeed, what learning actually is, and how it happens is not seen as a human approach, does not work in a reciprocal way, and we can’t limit that to academics, we are talking about connection of the whole self, not just the information-gathering self. Here’s an opportunity to relearn and reinventate; to observe all the ways the structures we’ve held on to are crumbling; here’s an invitation to notice a space to pivot and to heal. Image Credit:Photos of Kelly by I. and C. Tiller (her daughters)LIBERATION WALKListen to Kelly on Episode 105 (Love, Trust & Identity). Call Kelly by phone 706.314.9225; here’s her blog.Check on Kelly’s 2020 Voyage ATL Interview.Latinx Parenting supports parents in raising children with compassion & connection, while honoring ancestral roots, values, and strengths. Leslie Priscilla (Leslie Arreola Hillenbrand), wrote this epic piece with mad resources and zero sugar coating. Give Leslie her flowers.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/akilahJoin our Facebook group Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

May 6

34 min

This is the first episode of the Deschooling Release Party, Volume II for 2020. Today we will focus on the pivot, what is deschooling causing to pivot away from, especially during these particularly disruptive times. We’ll hear from Moji Yai, my sisterfriend from Benin, West Africa, who was raised in north Florida, and is now raising herself and her 10 year old daughter, Sena, in between the US and her home land, Benin.Moji opens our dialogue with a bit of her story on how she was led to turpentine, tapped from sap trees, and used to be part of the labor of enslaved Africans. Turpentine gum or gum spirits of turpentine, has been among the healing arsenal of brilliant black folks who have nurtured their relationships with plants and soil. They knew what plants to use and combine for many of the effects of their constant overexposure to the elements. The relationship that carries upon going back, returning to the origins to understand what might be forgotten or buried makes us pivot away from established systems, rooting through an intuitive-self that works in a collective way. Deschooling is about creating, creating new relationships and rethinking everything. Moji’s experience of returning to Africa with her daughter gave her another perspective, by interacting with the people, creating communication channels, observing, asking and having conversations without assumptions about the behavior or character that africans are said to have, a look without judgment, from a more human approach.As Moji describes, learning to live with your child is a beautiful thing, the way you talk to them and behave with them, among other things is going to be carried into adulthood, so, the way that you’re gonna gain the tools for communicating without control, violence, manipulation and so on are the key to sustain a healthy partnership.Be sure to check out Moji’s Upcoming Webinar (May 13) about the history and use of Pure Gum Turpentine. LIBERATION WALKHere’s Moji’s Wellness Spiral Podcast Series produced by RFP Network back in the summer of 2018, June to August, beginning with a brilliant episode entitled Disrupting our Disturbing Eating HabitsMoji is working on reclaiming Indigenous healing practices that benefit communities in Benin and the diaspora; here her blog, and her Instagram.If you wanna remember our first Deschooling Party, here is Moji giving us some insights Organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help for Atlanta’s BIPOC families affected by COVID-19 – Please donateSupport the show at patreon.com/akilahJoin our Facebook group Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Apr 29

46 min

This episode was supposed to be the first of the Deschooling Release Party, Volume II.  However, today’s episode features Marley and Sage, in response to an article from Good Morning America, and how their unschooling coverage got it all wrong.Earlier this month, the ABC Television produced a show and published a blog post  about unschooling titled “I tried unschooling and here’s what happened.” I am cited in that article, and talked with the person that wrote this; I just didn’t know that it was for her to try out unschooling. In short, the article was problematic, so I wanted to address it in some kind of way, especially during this time at home with so many options for parents to put unschooling among their activities and as an opportunity for connection and growth.The problem with that article wasn’t about showing her first experience or describe what she learned, it was about framing it, and put it in as the concept of what unschooling is, ignoring the nuances and processes that lead someone to unschool and the level of compromise and dedication that Self Directed Education has. It wasn't taking into account several variables, the fact that it’s a self directed way of educational process guided upon the children’s natural interest, trust and some levels of access that are in their environment, the relationship that is forged with the people and life itself.Unschooling can be described as a partnership that will offer ideas that the child can accept or refuse, it’s about a dialectical process. The questions that might pop up are placed from an empowered space where the unschooler will offer ways in support of that, as we cannot frame people neither their learning process, it’s a constant resignification.Expertise is developed over time, observe, listen and ask.The second part of the episode is the audio from a video response I did to the GMA article, you can watch it here.Join our Facebook group for people committed to raising free people. LIBERATION WALKShare the response video about unschooling on your social media pages.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/akilahSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Apr 21

34 min

This episode is a combination of resources and links to invitations that will help you as we are raising free people:My dear friend Trelani Michelle, writer, storyteller, and founder author of Krak Teet, shares her experience with her 10-year-old daughter, Kobe, in response to my question about some of the wonderful, deschoolish things we might be noticing nowadays.If you pay attention, you’ll notice how Self Directed Education helps to build healthy self-governance skills for our children, like Trelani mentioned. It can also, as you’ll hear from Racquel in this episode, usher in changes in the experiences around the learning and relationship-building process among siblings, when connection is left to be more organic, less imposed, and more of a partnership.These and other stories are the reflection of the opportunities that we can take advantage of, to see what is forming and being discovered among the families. Such insights make us aware and move us towards a more reflective attitude, because sometimes we do need a disruption in our harmony as a reminder for how to better our self care habits.Another way of connecting during this time of social distancing is through some digital tools that can help you with self direction during these hard times. Here’s one such resource from Chemay Morales James and the My Reflection Matters fam; they are having upcoming zoom events that can guide you through.Unfortunately the pandemic is affecting the most vulnerable people, don’t forget that organizations like Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund are organizing collective help. Please donate.Also, Tipping Points is an online magazine from the Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE), and are constantly sharing resources on their Facebook and Twitter pages, newsletter, and forums, so be sure to tap into those.ASDE is also developing a page specifically devoted to resources to support parents at this time, and to specifically support parents who are struggling with conventional schooling-at-home and want to find connection and support in shifting how they view education. If that is something they are looking for, or if you have any ideas for resources to share on this page, please send them to ASDE through bria@self-directed.orgLIBERATION WALKGo and listen up my audio course, where I talk about unschooling and self directedness for your family.Check out this list of 16 online culturally responsive educational tools.Look for our sisterfriend Maleka Diggs webinar series: Supporting Parents During Uncertain Times.Don’t forget to leave me a voice memo right here on the site.Email me: she@akilahsrichards.comMessage me in our Facebook group or on Instagram (@fareofthefreechild).Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Apr 16

16 min

We’ve got three important invitations for you:Deschooling Release Party :: This year's theme is The PivotTwo Locations:Right here on FOFC Podcast and inside FOFC FB Group for post-episode conversations.I'll drop the dates on social media and share them with you here when I confirm them, but we're definitely starting this month, April, 2020, so stay tuned.      2.  A Request for Your “Noticing “Stories Join me in amplifying stories of the wonderful or insightful things you may be noticing now that your child is at home more often. I am curating a collection of stories about how, during these days of unexpected, and for some, undesired, school at home situations, some parents or caregivers are noticing little WONDERFUL WAYS that learning is happening, joy is happening, fear is subsiding, in relation to their child. I want to hear your moments:- leave me a voice memo on raisingfreepeople.com- email me: she@akilahsrichards.com- message me in our Facebook group or on Instagram (@fareofthefreechild)      3.  Y’all Alright? A Complimentary Check-In hosted by Maleka Diggs of ELN for ASDEOne of the communities I appreciate, and continually learn and grow with is The Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE). We recently decided to hold space for folks to share some of their feelings and experiences right now with this unexpected, and in some cases, undesired “being at home together all the time” situation. We’re checking in on how this is affecting young people and adults right now, and trying to get more clear about ways to be helpful. FOFC Family member, Maleka Diggs of ELN, will facilitate that discussion coming up this month, April, and I will be there listening and deepening, and would LOVE to have you sitting in that Zoom room right beside me! Be sure to follow Maleka online and keep listening to FOFC for the exact date and time, once that’s confirmed.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Apr 2

21 min

Dr. Sundiata is an Independent Educator, Anti-Oppression Activist, & Social Sustainability Facilitator. He is the co-creator of GROW, a network of people and initiatives designed to promote and create social, economic, and political systems centered on Liberation, Sustainability, and Unconditional Love. He is passionate about helping people discover the power of Authentic Dialogue, a communication framework that leverages complex issues in personal relationships and organizations to help them generate solutions that foster deeper understanding, cohesiveness, freedom, and trust. Dr. Sundiata is also the host of the Theory of Indivisibility Podcast which analyzes the evolutionary origins, current complexities, and future of our social, economic, and political systems, and serves on the board of Heartwood Agile Learning Center, a K-12 independent school that facilitates Self-Directed Education in the metro Atlanta region.A few Mad Question Askin’ Moments:What is the systems theory and how did it originate?What is the symbiotic give-and-take relationship and what are some examples of it?What is nature’s economy and how does it work?Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Mar 25

74 min

This is is an opportunity to raise up out of what we are used to doing and that the practice of unschooling can help with that. A chance to put a few self-directed practices in place because this is where we can get super schoolish and just react to things around us, tossing healthy personal leadership aside.  Times like these remind us of the importance of collectivism and community, to be able to check in with each other. That we can look at the ways we can ensure we’re not being a source of emotional weight on our children, family, selves. In the middle of the potential chaos is an opportunity for community; an opportunity to contextualize what it means to be ourselves together.For many parents their children will now be home for longer periods than expected. Start practicing your observation skills and pay attention to the feelings that are showing up for you and in your children, gauge how you respond to the anxiety children trigger, see what they do to occupy themselves when you back away. These opportunities can enable parents to become better partners to their children and to become better leaders of themselves. Be in the space to look at the opportunities presented due to what’s happening. There are ways here that we can start to pay attention to what is happening around us instead of controlling it -- because we cannot.Boundaries will be tested and assessed, defined and redefined as we reimagine and reconfigure what it means to be around each other as ourselves. Let that arrange you! Don’t run away from it. Be with what that might mean for you.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Mar 18

25 min

A few weeks ago, on Episode 160 we talked with Aja about the pain of being raised with trauma through the vessel of Black mothers, and her new podcast She Said We Shed. In that episode, we talked about “why” she’s doing this podcast and “what” the problem was...in detail. Those of you who listened to that episode (if you didn’t, please go back and do so) because in this episode, we’re going to continue that conversation and touch on “how”. She Said We Shed will not only look at and discuss the impacts of toxic mothering but also how to move into and within practice mode. Aja will speak on learning how, what and why we need to begin shifting our awareness in order to heal ourselves and treat our selves and children with respect and love.Aja has been focused on this work and we believe it would be useful for us to hear about the direction--the pivot. Also In this episode, we share a clip of She Said We Shed’s first episode! In this clip, Aja takes us into her personal story and the impact her mother has had on her life. She shares where she is today in regards to her relationship with her mother and highlight’s steps she’s taken throughout the years to heal and improve their relationship. This shedding helps us to understand why she feels she needs to begin this podcast. We welcome Aja back in this episode as she talks about the pivot and how it's possible to move through the pain and into healing. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Mar 12

43 min

SOME OF THE TOPICS DISCUSSED:-  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? 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. #BIPOCinSDESupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Mar 4

38 min

We’re excited about Aja, whom you’ve heard on previous podcasts and one of the things she’s now doing is her own out-loud deschooling.  This is work that is near and dear to us and is healing work, like all deschooling is.  It’s moving outside of all of the different ways that we have been steeped in and informed by trauma. Much of the work we talk about here on Fare of The Free Child is to try not to perpetuate it, to try to recognize the ways that it has us so that we don’t weaponize it.  Aja’s healing work is specifically related to her relationship with her mother and that’s what’s being discussed today.  She’s going to go from just having a conversation about it to really having this massive movement around legacy shifting related to Black mama trauma.  Can adults and children deschool together?  Aja and her son are in transition mode from homeschooling to deschooling because in addition to deschooling herself, she has decided that her son is going to as well. It felt contradictory not to do so, she felt like she couldn't do both.  She needed her son to think differently, to think for himself and shared examples of this here in this podcast. Aja has a podcast called “She Said We Shed” coming up that will be detailed regarding the effects of putting Black mothers on pedestals and the way we are so afraid to talk about the things that hurt us, how we continue to be hurt insomuch that we are not healing.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Feb 26

49 min

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.What Was Discussed:Last week’s episode is also inclusive of Black history when we discussed how Maleka and her daughter, Maddy, recognised how they were being treated and how they were able to connect to the unfortunate familiarity of all the “isms” (racism, ageism…) associated with that treatment, and take a stance towards their human right to exist without bias-driven, false accusations about their actions. This week’s episode will bring attention to how we tend to think of history in terms of things we survived, aka the big hurdles. While we have indeed survived many things,also have a history of knowing, and of leaning into what we “know good,” am I right?  And on this podcast, we aren’t afraid to examine, to critique with love, to decide that some shit needs to change; that’s part of our healing workright?  But we not going to overdevelop one wing and atrophy the other, so while the next several episodes will be about things we are working to change, let’s use this one to talk a little bit about our history of enoughness, of abundance, of applying old knowings to our lives in ways that work beautifully for us some Black folks. We are not only what we survive, we are that and so much more.  We are comprised of the things we’ve always known that we can’t always explain to people in words but can feel it live it in our actions. This is a medley of episodes where past guests spoke from their own history of knowing something about themselves, knowing what was right for them, knowing that they needed to speak up even with the risk of what comes with doing so.I hope it helps you to tap into your own history of knowing what you know about yourself, this world, and your soul.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Feb 19

15 min

Libraries are learning centers too, so let’s make sure our deschooling aka decolonization work, includes our interactions in our local libraries. There is energy and effort, through The Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE) to help make libraries all over the US havens for self-directed families. Unschooling mother, organizer, and equity trainer, Maleka Diggs has also been giving energy and effort to expanding her local library in Philly, to be more supportive of fostering learning and empowerment through self-directed environments. In this episode, Maleka and one of her daughters, Maddy, are sharing a recent example of how ageism and racism can convolute the purpose of impact of our community spaces such as libraries. You’ll hear about the level of shade they experienced, and you can stay in touch with Maleka through her newsletter and Patreon community to find out what is being done. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Feb 11

29 min

Support is one of the biggest hurdles in developing the confidence needed in nurturing and raising free people.Does your socioeconomic background affect your capacity to recognize and receive support?What does support need to look like for you, specifically?How can you find YOUR people, not just SOME people, as you seek out support and community?How can you communicate your support needs to your family and friends?What are some ways to invite more specific support in your life?How do you show appreciation for support without overextending yourself?Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Feb 5

38 min

Liberation work - is reclamation and transitional work. It is the shifting away from something harmful for many years and not our norm, because the norm is NOT oppressive tactics disguised as education, parenting, inter-generational living.Deschooling is shedding the programming and habits that resulted from other people’s agency over your time, body, thoughts, or actions. Designing and practicing beliefs that align with your desire to thrive, be happy, and succeed. Deschooling is part of unschooling, and unschooling is a lifestyle and learning approach.Unschooling is a child-trusting, anti-oppression, liberatory, love-centered approach to parenting and caregiving. It is also creating and expanding communities of confident, capable people who understand how they learn best, and how to work collaboratively to learn and to solve things.And while unschooling isn't something everyone will want to do, or need to do, deschooling is for EVERYONE, even people in school because it’s about recognizing what’s happening and beginning that process of shedding the programming and habits which can be done anywhere, anytime -- even in a classroom. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jan 29

23 min

In episode 154, Sage, a 13-year-old unschooler, talked about her frustration with the ways that there is this allegedly measurable, observable boxed in idea of how learning happens that is prioritized over an individual person’s process for understanding how they learn, pursuing their interests, and creating their own courses of study, and their own schedules and to a large extent, without the pressure of needing to turn into a job or something quantifiable to someone outside of themselves. This is something Sage noticed from being in a lot of different SDE learning centers and homeschooling and unschooling centered communities and events. She is in a position, as someone who travels with her family to be in community with other unschooling centers and collectives, to hear the patterns of the types of questions and concerns that parents and other family tend to have when they allow children to self-direct their education. Though they want their children to feel “free” schoolish ideas prevail, often showing up as children competing not with other children, but with adults’ fears. School wounds don’t just happen in school, they happen because of the influence of school culture, and can happen at home, too. In this episode, Akilah engages mad question-askin’ out loud , about school wounds, and invites you to do the same.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jan 23

17 min

What is the best unschooling structure?How do unschoolers learn structure if adults aren’t telling how to manage their time?How will unschoolers learn how to manage time and tasks if they just do what they want, when they want?The answer is that they don’t *find* structure, they create it, and then they develop the personal leadership skills, IN PARTNERSHIP with willing adults, to refine that structure where needed, but mostly to support the structure.You and I had very little practice using our actual interests and curiosities to dive into, design and develop, and refine a way of spending our days in deliberate studies. The truth is that we’ve mostly experienced structure as a tool of oppression, not as a personal leadership tool, and certainly not a tool of liberation.Sage joins me this episode to talk about structure in unschooling. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jan 16

26 min

Are children inherently untrustworthy? Where does the evidence point to children being untrustworthy? Do children need time to be taught trustworthiness? Does Freedom and trustworthiness come with being a human being? Are adults afraid of their children growing up untrustworthy ur unsuccessful? What is our approach in raising trustworthy children? How do we trust young people? What is the connection between children learning and trust?What is unschooling? A form of self-directed education; phrase by author, educator in the 70s named John Holt. What is the difference between homeschooling and unschooling? Unschooling does not enforce any particular curricular nor does it have pre-determined ideas of what children should learn.  Unschooling does not mean unparenting. Often means liberation work. It’s a child-trusting, anti-oppression, love-centered approach to living learning. Rooted in consent, respect and confident autonomy,  Helping children to build self-confidence.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Jan 8

18 min

Dr. Rocio Rosales Meza is a Xicana intuitive, energy worker, healer, and coach. She has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and is a Reiki Master. She comes from a long line of healers from both her maternal and paternal lineages. Dr. Rosales Meza’s mission is to facilitate mental, emotional, and spiritual healing for Black, Indigenous, women of color from an ancestral and decolonial perspective. She does this work through using her training in psychology, her ancestral wisdom and medicine, and her psychic, empath, and intuitive abilities. Through her work, she guides women of color to break the cycle of the colonial trauma that is holding them back, that is keeping them stuck, and that is harming them in ways they don’t even know. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Dec 2019

29 min

Val Anderson is in her sixties, yet she is practicing conscious parenting. Turns out that connection, respect, listening, and regard for boundaries are not just for toddlers and their doting parents. Parents who have raised their children into adults and are now developing language and norms that see that person as an adult, and not a perpetual child. In this episode, Val, who happens to be Akilah’s mother, is sharing some of her practices for being more present, more connected, and less tied to the oppressive adult-child dynamics she saw all around her. Listen close and share wide as Val talks about her deschooling journey from conventional Jamaican parent to raising free people, including herself.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Dec 2019

28 min

In this final episode of the Deschooling Your Leadership Lens Series, our very own co-producer, South African born, self-directed mama, and student of life, Fatima Mookadam, talks about how her family’s decision to slow-travel through several countries with little money and plenty of trust in the process, turned out to be the most life-changing experience she has had so far. The plot twists and points of clarity still serve to remind Fatima of the power that comes from allowing oneself to push through (not around) old wounds and new pain points. Listen as Fatima shares some beautiful stories from her travels, and reminds us why we too can (and maybe should) live out our dreams, however we can, instead of settling into the status quo.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Dec 2019

25 min

By trade, Danii Oliver manufacturers whole food based beverages having founded several brands including Island to Island Brewery, House of Juice and Brooklyn Jun Brew. Formally, Danii applied her Creative Technology skills in the digital spaces of the advertising and marketing industry. Danii now applies her skills to her businesses and the education of her family and customers constantly learning and growing to remain independent in a world that has become restricted by limited archetypes to live by.In this episode, we talk about, how do we heal from our childhood wounds while we raise free people? Is it possible to stay the course in a relationship with a parent that feels verbally and emotionally toxic while you mother your own children? Are Caribbean parents doomed to relive what they were taught, or can we recover relationships that aren’t based on whether di White people dem undanstan we? Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Dec 2019

50 min

Howard Palmer is deschooling from old habits by intentionally being an example of peace (through meditation) and of creative action (through parkour and fitness) and in his relationships with people. He’s feeling out the particulars of his move to California right now and sharing a little about how he manages himself while this is happening. What does he do each day to stay aligned with what he wants? He’ll share some simple gems around that, inviting you to consider your own ways to stay attuned to where and how you want to be.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Dec 2019

13 min

They say if you need to see just how well your healing is going, go be with your family for a week. The triggers, the baggage, the habits, all of it comes racing back, forcing us to reckon with the reality that healing work can be done, but most times, it’s never really done, it’s in progress. This week, repeat guest Aja Rutledge, joins us to speak with candor and unquieted assertion that Black folks need to stop saying our toxic mothering experiences are normal and okay. Not all of us are okay, and Aja is deeply committed to calling us to the spaces where we can acknowledge, name, and work toward healing the effects of what Aja calls Black Mama Trauma.When Aja and her son moved back to the U.S. after their natural learning travels took them to Mexico, they ended up staying with her mother longer than anticipated. Aja has been realizing how much her mother’s baggage affected her own sense of worth and value.Who am I? What do I like? What am I healing from? How is my relationship with my parent playing out in my relationship with my child?Those are the questions that have been on the rise for Aja, and she is not willing to leave them unanswered. Listen and connect as Aja talks about what she’s feeling, observing, and moving toward as she deschools herself and makes room for her son and her to continue cultivating a holistic, authentic, trust and respect-based relationship.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Nov 2019

37 min

This week, Chevanni Davids takes us through a reasoning that connects regeneration to liberation and deschooling in brilliant, thought-provoking ways. If you are the type to geek out on the ways that personal leadership and community organizing collaborate and create a person’s drive and shifts their thinking, this is an episode just for you! Enjoy! “This is an intention that is constructed on convergence of human creativity and working together towards a sustainable future. It's a meeting point for diverse amounts of knowledge, ability, intellect and spirituality. It's a holistic space . A place where sciences, art, self-exploration and development and spirituality are woven together.” -- Chevanni Davids about Antiuniversity Ecoversity of South Afrika: Non-institutional Learning and EducationSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Nov 2019

37 min

“Emancipated Learning: The interplay between psychological safety, learning and inquiry, and meaningfulness represents Emancipated Learning. Every individual has his or her own unique learning needs, capacities, and interests. When these learning dimensions are ignored or subjugated, learning turns into a chore that must be completed to appease or satisfy others. Abrome Learners feel comfortable taking risks and diving deep in pursuit of knowledge in their fields of interests, rather than skimming them at the surface. Learners construct knowledge by leveraging resources that are directly available to them, to include their learning community, or by acquiring necessary resources in the process of exploration and discovery. This process is unique for every Learner as they link various resources, in pursuit of their own purposes, according to their own needs. Like any two distinct individuals, no two Learners or educational pathways are the same; only in retrospect will a learning pathway become fully defined. When an individual is able to marry such educational experiences with a life of meaning, the result is a remarkable life lived.”  http://www.abrome.com/emancipated-learningAntonio Buehler (he/him) founded Abrome to liberate children and fundamentally change the way people think about education. He wants Learners to have full autonomy over their bodies, minds, and time so they can lead meaningful and purposeful lives, positively impact society, and improve the human condition. Abrome is aligned with Antonio’s desire to challenge, undermine, and create alternatives to oppressive systems so we can move toward a freer, healthier world.Prior to founding Abrome, Antonio worked as a middle school and high school teacher at a startup alternative school in Austin, TX. He also worked as an admission consultant to individuals applying to top colleges and MBA programs. Before he dedicated his career to education, Antonio spent time in private equity, investment banking, and the military. Outside of work, Antonio supports his local library through education related programming, founded the Peaceful Streets Project, served on the board of a child bereavement non-profit, volunteered at an orphanage in Bulgaria, volunteered for the West Point and Stanford admissions offices, coached high school football, and has personally mentored and tutored dozens of children. In his free time, Antonio likes to read, travel (37 countries and counting), ski, and volunteer for his favorite causes, preferably through direct action.Antonio earned a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an M.B.A. from Stanford University, and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Nov 2019

32 min

Learn how two women use brain science, a love for culture, and a recognition of parenting as social justice work to connect and uplift their communities in their commitment to nonviolent parenting and thriving-centered self-care.“Latinx Parenting is a bilingual organization rooted in social justice and children’s rights, the ongoing practice of nonviolence towards ourselves and others, self-reflection and connection, and community wellness for every generation. We offer family education and support that is culturally responsive to and for the Latinx community and its allies, trauma-informed, and centered on strengths and advocacy. We are here to serve you, your children, their children, your parents, and the ripple of our ancestral mark on this earth.” - latinxparenting.org ​Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Nov 2019

34 min

What do teenage unschoolers need in order for the Self-Directed Education movement to be even more effective for them? One common gripe among many of the SDE-minded folks in my circles is the lack of amplified youth voices in our gatherings, trainings, etc. Nahla, Marley, and Timo are three teenagers whose families embracing unschooling. They have each also facilitated trainings for adults and children who attend SDE spaces or are interested in the philosophies around SDE. In this episode, they share some of their experiences as teen facilitators, and offer insights on what adults can do to get deeper into partnership with young people.There are young people who are willing to be vocal about what is and isn’t working for them as our communities reconnect with more trust-based models for living and learning together, and they should be heard consistently. When it comes to deschooling parents, hearing from a teenager who is willing to express themselves honestly, and to help us get clear on this thing called freedom, we need to be listening. Real freedom is  a thing many of us have so little practice with, and so we must learn how to develop a trust in our children and ourselves so that we can design that freedom together. What are some ideas can adults in the SDE movement do to get better at amplifying teen voices?Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Oct 2019

23 min

This week, let’s talk about some unschooling vocabulary. There are terms I made up, and terms that our community took on and redefined for ourselves. This episode highlights some of those words. I imagine doing updates of this episode as we continue to develop language together. For now, these ten words offer a good opportunity for us to have shared meaning. It’s also an opportunity to question your own definitions and understandings, and pivot wherever the need arises. UnschoolingSelf-Directed EducationDeschoolingSchoolishnessPervasive WhitenessOthermothering (the brilliant Patricia Hill Collins wrote about this)ReparentingLife DesignIntersectionalityLabrishHere’s a resource for further exploring language in relation to parenting, leadership, and of course, liberation: https://radicalselfie.teachable.com/p/ourpatois This episode was recorded live at She Podcasts. Here’s an excerpt with a few snippets from this page about #Shepodcasts:“She Podcasts began in 2014 as a small Facebook group, built so that our women podcaster friends could have a place online to get quick podcasting answers, tips and resources from one another. However, as soon as the group started, it grew enormously. Friends were adding friends and before long it had been built to over 11,000 women in some phase of building and PRODUCING a podcast. In the spirit of further support, a podcast was created to address issues and podcasting current events as they relate to women. Hosted by Elsie Escobar and Jessica Kupferman, the podcast entitled “She Podcasts” now boasts almost 10000 downloads per month. The vision for She Podcasts is to support and nurture as many female-lead podcasts as possible, and to encourage knowledge sharing without excessive promotion.”Dawn J. Fraser was my absolute favorite workshop facilitator. She was present, brilliant, intuitive, and funny. Here’s her bio, straight from her website:“Dawn J. Fraser is a storyteller, educator and and nationally acclaimed speaker based out of New York City. She is the Host of the live show and upcoming podcast ‘Barbershop Stories’, which features storytellers performing true tales in barbershops and salons. Dawn has created programs for college students, educators and entrepreneurs to develop leadership potential through storytelling, and is an Instructor with The Moth and The Story Studio. She was featured amongst some of the nation’s top innovators and change makers as a speaker at TED@NYC and has performed in shows including The Moth Mainstage, Story Collider, RISK and The Unchained Tour. She loves being a twin, a Trinidadian, and tweetable @dawnjfraser.”Lisa Orkin was also amazingly giving during her workshop. Here’s her website, and here’s a blurb I took directly from her site:I have over 25 years of experience in copywriting, scripting, audio production, voice acting, teaching and speaking in both traditional and digital media. And I have also worked in the world of indie filmmaking making as a writer, actor and producer. Making award-winning films with the likes of Adam Mckay, Shira Piven, and Dweezil Zappa. My current podcast is a wild mix of all my creative lives, Project Woo Woo. Where I have very real conversations with imaginary people. And all this in a tutu and checkered Vans.All kindsa awesome from womenfolk, right? Yeh, I know. Inspiring!One of my favorite podcasts: Unmistakable Creative by Srini RaoSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Oct 2019

20 min

In this episode, Dr. Sundiata asks questions about a common practice for many African American people. The practice of saying "us" or "we" that some people use when expressing how they feel about something. Does this practice impede our individual pursuits for agency and liberation? Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Oct 2019

12 min

Medley This week, let’s touch on the other side of self-care. Mostly, we tend to think about self-care as practices that help us to slow down, do less, be still. That is part of it, but there’s another side to it. Self-care is also about our daily life design, which includes our productivity work, our active times, the moments when we’re not slowing down, we’re building. We can and should learn how to take care of ourselves when we’re not on vacation, because otherwise the shit ain’t sustainable. Today I’m joined by the voices of some people in my circles who integrate self-care into their work. Come listen and then think about some ways you can move toward a more integrative approach to caring for yourself. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Oct 2019

19 min

In a world that constantly sends messages to women about connecting their value with their physicality and desirability, I need to help them operate with an awareness of their right to reject or accept physical touch, or any act that affects their personal space or feeling of safety, from any adult or child.And that means I have to be honest about the ways that I, myself, might infringe on their personal boundaries, and I have to facilitate these conversations with the adults around me. And I don’t just mean conversations about what we can do to protect children, but what we must do to help children understand their options for protecting their physical and emotional selves. One way we can approach this goal is to explore some of the common mistakes we adults make when it comes to helping children practice bodily autonomy, which is at the root of consent culture for children.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Oct 2019

29 min

“The most difficult thing in dealing with [raising ] young girls is that you have to come to grips with how you deal with women. You have to address your beliefs, what you’ve been taught, and what you’ve seen in society. If you’re not trying to be a dominating or oppressive figure in their life, you have to consider these things.”  - Kris RichardsThis week, Kris talks about his raising free people practice. This is part two, because last week’s episode with Marley talking about her experiences with my and Kris’s practice. Marley talked about respect, managing moods, and what it means to be ourselves together.This week, Kris answers three questions about freedom, partnership, love, and a li’l bit mo’.  We’re talking about these things in Raising Free People Workshop 2019 and registration closes October 1. Come join the conversation using the links to the left of this page.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Sep 2019

25 min

This week Marley Richards is joining me to talk about the goodness and the grit of being in a mother-daughter relationship rooted in liberation. She is co-facilitating Raising Free People Workshop with me this year, and on this episode, we’ll share some details about the space we intend to hold. Raising Free People Workshop is a space for us to apply decolonization and deschooling to the way we raise and relate to children. And into the way we support children in owning themselves.This workshop, and this practice, helps adults focus on transitioning from master to partner; embracing collaboration instead of coercion; being willing to listen; embodying compassion as we raise and support confident, happy, community-minded, fully-equipped, liberated people. Listen in, then come join us (registration closes Oct. 1) if you want to be part of an intergenerational discussion on liberation, learning, and relationships.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/akilah)

Sep 2019

28 min

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