December 13, 2022
This week’s episode is a special selection of conversations with some amazing educators and entrepreneurs who are creating vital educational spaces that tackle social, spatial and environmental injustice, build individual and community well-being and livelihoods, and develop personal agency. All three of them are achieving this, in part, by radically rethinking approaches to the way that education has historically been funded and seeking out alternative innovative approaches that create leverage points for educational systems change with very exciting potential.
Akira Drake Rodriguez writes about race, cities, and space in the U.S. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design. Akira’s book, Diverging Space for Deviants: The Politics of Atlanta’s Public Housing (University of Georgia Press 2021), examines the dialectic between black feminist politics and public housing policy in Atlanta from 1936 to 2010. She was recently awarded a grant from the Spencer Foundation to study critical participatory planning strategies in school facilities planning in Philadelphia.
Akira was the convener and lead author on Transforming Public Education: A green new deal for K–12 public schools, an initiative of the Climate + Community Project, sponsored by The McHarg Center and Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative.
Ana Aguirre is a co-founder and worker owner at TAZEBAEZ S.Coop where she leads the cooperative development area. She is the Vice President for the International Cooperative Alliance Youth network in Europe, where she also serves in the youth executive committee. Among many other projects, she currently co-leads the course on Platform Cooperatives NOW! with The New School (NYC) and Mondragon. Ana studied at Mondragon Team Academy in the first class of the Leadership Entrepreneurship and Innovation (LEINN) degree.
Lucy Stephens is the founder, Co-Headteacher and Charity Director of The New School in south London, UK. With experience gained from a background in teaching, degrees in social psychology, nutritional therapy and herbal medicine, time spent working at the Prince’s Trust with marginalised young people, and having two of her own children, Lucy has focused her attention on what an alternative democratic model of education could look like. She founded The New School to put research into practice, to challenge the current paradigm, and to address the many deeply entrenched problems in education and society.
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