We speak with Swarthmore’s Dr. Edwin Mayorga, who explains how abolitionist classrooms and schools create “freedom as a place” in contrast to racial capitalism. Dr. Mayorga encourages educators to center joy and healing. We also discuss the corporatization of schools that reduces students to their test scores. Schools, as “localized nodes of political power,” should adopt democratic processes that cultivate voice, participation, and collaboration.
00:50-02:30 Abolitionist education
02:30-04:50 “Freedom as a place”
04:50-08:10 Critical racial ethnic studies; the Sankofa bird
08:10-15:30 Decolonizing education; relationships in the process between colonized and colonizer
15:30-22:30 Intersections of race and class
22:30-26:30 Racial capitalism’s impact in the classroom
26:30-33:30 Kensington Health Sciences Academy (KHSA)
33:30-36:25 Teacher as lead inquirer
36:25-38:30 Moving at the speed of trust
38:30-40:20 Modeling trustworthiness for students
40:20-43:00 How did KHSA become a school focused on trust?
43:00-46:15 Making the shift from a more traditional to a more liberatory school
46:15-49:40 Sustainability after school founder(s) leave
49:40-53:05 Relationships of capital to schools: Now and a century ago
53:05-56:15 Education sovereignty
56:15-59:35 Community land trusts as models for schools
59:35-01:03 Balancing autonomy with accountability
01:03-01:06:20 Humans’ relationships with other animals: Moving away from anthropocentrism
01:06:20-01:10:30 Where the joy is
01:10:30-01:15:55 Takeaways: joys, hope, healing, radical possibilities
Click here to see the full transcript of this episode.
Soundtrack by Podington Bear