Raising Free People – by Akilah Richards

May 1, 2020 | Archive, Community Voices, Social Change

We can’t keep using tools of oppression and expect to raise free people – we must examine privilege and power in our relationships with our children, the world’s most vulnerable citizens and embrace chaos in efforts to allow trust-based practices to emerge. We can do this through liberation work that centers a decolonization of childhood, allowing trust-based practices and language to emerge. My partner and I have embraced the work of trustful parenting, also known as unschooling. The practice brings forth a necessary chaos, a shedding of the power-over dynamic from adults toward children. The result is often deep social justice work that evolves into freedom in action for children and communities.



hosts a widely celebrated podcast, Fare of the Free Child, that features more than 150 episodes on Self-Directed Education among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. She is a public speaker who has written for and has conducted livestream sessions with publications including Mater MeaMy Brown BabyMutha Magazine, and Tipping Points, the online magazine of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, of which she is a founding board member. Akilah is the author of the forthcoming book Raising Free People, and she and her partner are raising two self-directed daughters.

Oct. 9th

Oct. 12th

Freeing Our Children to Learn and Grow in Our Ever-Changing World


In discussions based on your concerns and experiences and those of other participants, you’ll discover what can be done at the level of the family, neighborhood, school, city, state, and nation to engage the curiosity, playfulness, and sociability of our kids; to stimulate their self-direction genes; and to liberate them from the bind that they — and as a consequence, we — are in.