Thanks to this engaged group of New Jersey unschoolers, this episode will be particularly dope for folks who want to start doing more in-person community building, face to face, around understanding and practicing SDE. That lack of local community is a tough space from which to grow.
That’s the #1 gratitude expression that I get from people about this podcast. Folks say some version of “thank you for helping me feel a sense of community or thank you for helping me find other unschoolers in my city.” And I get it, I was there, when we started, and figuring out how to live location independent really helped me see local in a different light, but also help me appreciate the undeniable massive benefits of being part of a larger SDE-practicing community where you live. It’s a sense of belonging and level of ease and safety that comes with finding that where you live.
And when it comes to nurturing environments where our children are safe expressing themselves and figuring out places and their place–that has particular challenges when you consider the intersection of the oppression and challenges that come with opting out of schooling, and then doing that in brown skin where your existence is criminalized, and there are pipelines designed to funnel your child into today’s version of slavery–the prison system. Some of us decide to operate outside the confines of schooling, and this group of women are supporting their community through collaborative efforts. This year, they organized what turned out to be a well-received one-day conference they called Homeschoolers of Color Collective. Here’s their vibe:
“HOC Collective is a group of families seeking to embody the principles of Ujima (collective work and responsibility) by decolonizing ourselves, relationships and education. We emphasize community building, self-directed learning through accessible resources. Disrupting. Empowering. Liberating. Re-Imagining.” #BIPOCinSDE