Anna Julia Cooper Learning & Liberation Center
We facilitate learner-centered education to Black and other of color families in a cooperative, human-rights-centered learning community. Our team supports a range of academic, social, and non-academic activities to help children design their own educational paths, offering supporting resources, tools, and connections along the way. Our program will be child-led, adult-supported, child-centered, and democratic.
How We Serve Families:
AJC Learning & Liberation Center will be jointly owned and run by learner-families and workers. Learners and their families will be given the space and authority to make decisions regarding the learning environment, while workers will be given the space and authority to make decisions regarding their work environment.
Skills Practiced: Personal Leadership, Community Management, Partnership, and Organizational Communication
Process: Daily, weekly, and monthly meetings will be held to set agreements, mediate conflict, and identify interests and needs. Our model presents a space for children of color to model both self-determination and collectivity through a range of activities. Participants will have the flexibility to follow their own interests, while adults assist them in finding tools and resources (both material and human) to expand on their interests, and connect them to the broader world.
Politics: AJC Learning & Liberation Center and its participants will be actively engaged in building and sustaining radical social justice responses to the conditions facing its surrounding neighborhood (e.g., gentrification, lack of transportation, cuts to public education and other state-sponsored assaults). We will also provide space for political education and training for community members and those interested in becoming or actively involved in social movements.
Adult Learning Partners for Expanded Reach
Primary Purpose: To support children along their individual and collective journeys of learning and self-discovery
Adult learning partners will create a container that is interesting and stimulating, seek out resources that may meet the needs of the participants, identify interesting outings, and offer knowledge and insight on request. Adult learning partners will also be available to assist participants in negotiating various situations from learning resources to arranging apprenticeships and on-site visits with resource partners (primarily local businesses).
The Self-Directed Education Approach
Primary Role: To determine and document discovery and progress
Our learners will not only develop their learning goals and pathways, they will document and co-design learning paths that combine local resources, virtual courses, games, and communities, plus global connections that may include field trips, study abroad opportunities, and opportunities to develop projects that solve real-world problems. We help young participants, at their request, to develop portfolios, challenge their own perceived limitations, pivot when necessary, and move steadily, at their own pace, toward the goals they set for themselves.