I am originally from the D.C. Metropolitan area. I attended Morehouse College where I graduated the Spring of 2013 with a BA in psychology. The fall season following my graduation, I entered a PhD program at Indiana University where I intended to study School Psychology. I was on a mission to infiltrate and fix the education system. I intended to address the system’s bias against people of color, the gifted, the disabled, and the poor.
One day I thought to myself, I could not have been the first African American who entered the field with a desire to revolutionize schools and save the youth. After some independent reading and research about the history of the American education system backed up with some knowledge of psychology, it dawned on me that the system wasn’t broken, that it was working as intended. I quickly decided that school psychology was not the avenue for me. What I wanted to do, as it related to children and education, was opposite of the very premise of the traditional model.
Junior year of undergrad was when I first caught the vision of starting a school of my own. All along I’ve kept notes and documented interesting schools & models I’ve come across in readings. My quest for increasingly alternative educational models led me to, what I consider, the most unique methods yet: unschooling, free schools, Sudbury, and democratic education. Once I became more familiar with these, it became clear my school would be shaped under the same ideas. Over the past year (I left grad school in February of 2014) I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer at and/or visit at least 4 schools of this nature and have gotten great insights from the founders, directors, and teachers from these schools and more.
I now feel ready to begin on this journey of starting a school. Something that’s of great importance to me as I strategize is appealing to people of color and specifically African American families. It is an unfortunate trend that radical movements like unschooling are mostly populated by white, middle class families. I know from present experience how veering from the course of traditionalism can be a daunting & even unthinkable idea for families from my demographic. It is heartbreaking that while low-income African Americans struggle to achieve by way of outdated means and traditions, the privileged have moved on to new paradigms. I hate that innovation and cutting edge information must trickle down the ladder of opportunity to the underprivileged and underserved, where it’s only marginally beneficial by the time it’s valued and put into practice. It is my hope to undo this cycle.
This is why I have returned to Atlanta, Georgia. This is what I have set out to do; I want to start an affordable community based school that’s modeled with Sudbury and unschooling methods. I would love and NEED all of your support in this so all advice and resources are welcome. If you are a family in, around, or moving to Atlanta; are involved or interested in unschooling, homeschooling cooperatives, etc.; and would like to join me in this endeavor, please contact me.
Let’s start a conversation, meet up, and come up with a plan of action.
-Tony Galloway II