The process of unraveling our own privilege and presuppositions around
caring for children is ongoing. It’s okay to recognize we have
more work to do – and to feel conflicted and unsure about how it will
all work out.
are challenging the things we held in our minds as true, getting to
know the world through our own lenses, and seeing how we were
the oppression of our own people through our parenting, caregiving, and overall relationships with children.
Raising Free People workshop is the space for us to apply
what we’re learning* into the
way we raise and relate to children. And into the way we support children in owning
*We're learning more about:
intersectionality, gender equity, social justice issues like
gentrification, biases that get people killed, alternatives to
capitalism, using technology for social good, radical self-expression.
Raising Free People work is about transitioning from master to partner; being okay with not knowing; embracing collaboration, not coercion; being willing to listen; embodying compassionate in our efforts to raise and support confident, autonomous, happy,
community-minded, fully-equipped, liberated people.
WHAT YOU STAND TO GAIN HERE:
• You can stop presenting your child to the world to be approved.
• You can stop associating adults' opinions of children with their (children's) worth.
• You can stop contributing to environments where young people are silenced, abused or invalidated because the adult in power doesn't agree with their decisions or don't understand their choices.
• You can recognize feelings of guilt as a detox symptom, not a call to action that results in you forcing yourself or a child to do something.
• You can work on your own baggage so that you can stop sharing that weight with children.
• You can practice and advocate the reality that children are entitled to their perspectives, and that their needs are valid and relevant.
Workshop Learning Model
The workshop content is generative, meaning the details for the framework will come from our collective discussions and specific pain points. We
will be using a framework, but the details—the specific focal
points—will not come solely from your facilitator; they will come from
your particular needs.
The framework, which we will cover mainly during the first three sessions, includes a "Toolbox" from which we will use four primary points of access to design tools that are unique to each participant.
Your facilitator is not providing you with tools; we will design and construct those together. Instead of coming with a pre-determined set of tools, your first few sessions will be used to create a toolbox, and from there, we'll co-create specific, uniquely-designed tools that arise from the knowledge and insights you gain through Raising Free People work.
By designing individual tools, then sharing them collectively through our group video chats, session notes, and related discussions, we can support each other and ourselves in designing and practicing options that are deeply aligned with our particular environments and needs.
These four critical points of access include:
Detailed analysis of the various ways we come to learn and accept harmful relationship management tools. In this phase, we examine the colonization of our own minds, and the resulting actions. You will be supported through recommended readings, suggested activities, group discussions, private talks between you and your facilitator, all designed to increase your awareness of the roots beneath your patterns.
Key Question: How are you participating in your own oppression, and in the oppression of children?
We'll explore that, with a focus on YOU, and use that awareness to start building a compassionate practice toward a new normal.
Once you are clear on the dissonance between your existing habits/patterns and your desired approach to raising free people, we will formulate ideas on how to disrupt those patterns. These will be specific to your environment, and will be heavily supported by existing research and practices that are rooted in liberatory, love-centered intentions. You will acknowledge your usage of the far-too-normal, harmful tactics of force,
manipulation, punishment, and silencing, and you will have help with designing ways to stop those behaviors, even when you are not sure what to do instead.
Key Question: What actions am I already equipped to take, that can help me to immediately face and interrupt these ineffective patterns that I've developed?
Identifying these actions will allow you to freely give yourself permission to not only recognize and address toxic patterns, but to put them down, even before you are clear on how to replace that behavior with something better aligned with your desired feelings and actions.
This is where you transition from urgent disruption to a slow and steady practice of facing, naming, and shedding your "old normal." We will explore the concept of deschooling within the context of parenting and caregiving, and we will implement tools that you will design, with support, to apply and refine your emerging approach to raising free people.
Key Question: What is deschooling and how can I apply it specifically and consistently to my transition into more partner-centered relationships with (my) children?
You will re-define what it means to observe yourself with compassion and a much deeper understanding behind your own patterns.
By this stage in the workshop, you will have identified specific ways to center your relationships with children on love and protection,
but also respect. Since this workshop is rooted in an Unschooling (child-trusting,
anti-oppressive, freedom-respecting, love-centered) approach, you will be using this stage to work through your already clearly identified barriers to actively raising free people.
Key Question: How do I want to feel in my relationships with children, and what am I doing to stay aligned with my desired feeling?
Through Raising Free People work, you will become more mindful of your own practices, thereby liberating YOU from reactive habits that have hindered you from being more trusting of yourself, and more practiced at pivoting and re-pivoting toward your most authentic self-expression, not just in raising free people, but in reclaiming ownership of yourself.
How You'll Get All Of That:
Enrollment begins TODAY and ends at midnight (EST) on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. When you enroll, you immediately gain access to the workshop e-venue (here on Teachable), but the first session will not be live until 6AM (EST) on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. On that same day, you'll receive an email with instructions on how to start Session 1.
Each week after that, for 8 more weeks, you'll get an email
telling you when the next session opens and how to access it. Each remaining session opens at 6AM (EST) on the following days:
Session 2: April 19
Session 3: April 26
Session 4: May 3
Session 5: May 10
Session 6: May 17
Session 7: May 24
Session 8: May 31
Session 9: June 7
Your workshop sessions are hosted on Teachable, an easy-accessed e-learning platform you can use anytime, via phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
We’re decolonizing our beliefs, deschooling ourselves, getting woke, and making sure our children benefit from our "wokeness."
Together, we can be part of fueling a social consciousness that is healing from toxic adult-child relationships, and empowering children to thrive as themselves.
Can't afford this workshop, but really need it? Email she @ akilah s richards do tcom; let's not let money stop you from doing this work.
Meet Your Facilitator
My name is Akilah S. Richards. I am a mama, partner, and digital nomad who works as an author, speaker, and unschooling activist.
I produce podcasts, books, classes, and articles on radical self-expression in practice and in study. Find my conversations and commentary at akilahrichards.com/podcast where I aim to support, connect, and highlight people of color designing their own liberation through Self-Directed Education and love-centered community building.
As an unschooler, I am learning about the ways we can decolonize our education and liberate ourselves from oppressive, exclusive systems. We believe in learning and living with education as an organic process that cannot reach its heights if it’s confined to a particular curriculum or set of instructions.
It has to happen organically, with support and encouragement from our communities, and trust in our children to articulate their needs, and our ability to observe and support without coercion.
By researching, reporting on, and facilitating discussion around unconventional parenting and lifestyle choices for people of color in particular, I join the many others who have been working to create space for themselves to live, learn, and thrive in healthy relationships with children.