We continue our conversation with Dr. Edwin Mayorga of Swarthmore College. We discuss the corporatization of schools that reduces students to their test scores. Dr. Mayorga encourages educators to center joy and healing. Schools should be liberatory rather than places that are too often focused on punishment and surveillance. Schools, as “localized nodes of political power,” should adopt democratic processes that cultivate voice, participation, and collaboration. As an organizer, he encourages coalitions of people resisting different aspects of racial capitalism, including those fighting destruction of the planet and exploitation of other species.


00:00-01:34 Intro

01:34-04:55 Making the shift from a more traditional to a more liberatory school

04:55-08:11 Sustainability after school founder(s) leave

08:11-11:37 Relationships of capital to schools: Now and a century ago

11:37-14:47 Education sovereignty

14:47-18:08 Community land trusts as models for schools

18:08-22:20 Balancing autonomy with accountability

22:20-24:41 Humans’ relationships with other animals: Moving away from anthropocentrism

24:41-28:58 Where the joy is

28:58-34:32 Takeaways: joys, hope, healing, radical possibilities

34:32-35:30 Outro


Listen to the first part of this conversation here.


Click here to see the full transcription of this episode.


Soundtrack by Podington Bear