My Reflection Matters Village

Where parenting, education, & liberation intersect.

My Reflection Matters Village

About Us

Video

Our Mission & Values

My Reflection Matters (MRM) Village is a secular, co-learning community for primarily BIPOC families (and radical educators) seeking support in raising and educating free people. Our mission is to create a virtual space that supports caregivers seeking or walking the path of self-directed education (SDE) with their children and provide them with access to decolonized, liberatory educational supports and resources to help them along their journey as they co-learn and co-create with socially conscious families, healers, facilitators, and other partners in our virtual village. We believe that, in community, families can build each other's capacity to serve as learning guides and advocates for their children in order to help connect them to their life-long passion-work. Our goal is simple. We want families to live their happiest, free-ist, most purposeful life in community with those they love. We see liberation-centered education and parenting as a pathway to this.  

At MRM Village, we value...

  • Liberation- We are in the practice of liberation. We believe in the power of the people on the ground who are most directly impacted by oppression to be able to build new systems and institutions that will center our humanity, value our gifts, identify our needs, and, ultimately, liberate us. We are not in the practice of reducing harm that is caused by institutions and systems that are rooted in oppressive, white supremacist beliefs and practices designed to produce inequities and injustice in the very communities our society has witnessed harm against. Harm reduction--which is very necessary--is equity work; however, equity work, alone, will not transform systems. 
  • Co-learning- We define co-learning as the idea that learning is a life-long journey and that it happens in community anywhere at anytime. We recognize our children's learning experiences are not separate from our own nor do they always happen in isolation from us. We believe parenting and education evolve when we take a collective, inter-generational approach to learning. 
  • Community- We don't believe in transactional relationships as it takes a village to raise free people. It is through collective living and learning that we believe our parenting evolves and our children's learning expands. Relationships drive our work. We aim to create a space where we take on a democratic approach and center families as the key decision makers of their educational learning paths. We firmly believe that through community, critical consciousness can be developed, supported, and passed on to our families. Critical consciousness is the "ability to fight back against the norm--both in direct action and psychologically" (Juarez, E., p. 36, Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines.). It is a privilege we aim to cultivate and nurture in our Village in community with each other.
  • Intuition-Led Learning or Self-Directed Education- Because liberation is our goal, this means we choose not to follow the rules of white supremacy. Unlike the standardization approach white supremacy has a history of using as a tool to oppress and divide the "haves from the have nots", we believe in trusting the human body's intuition to lead the learning it needs for the life a person chooses to live. We imagine our virtual space a place where families are able to access the resources they need to help them remember what their bodies were designed to do so that they may live their free-ist life ever. Intuition-led learning (our word) is not new as this is how our ancestors learned. This practice is most often referred to today as Self-Directed Education (SDE). According to the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, SDE "is education that derives from the self-chosen activities and life experiences of the person becoming educated, whether or not those activities were chosen deliberately for the purpose of education...[SDE] can include organized classes or lessons, if freely chosen by the learner; but most self-directed education does not occur that way. Most self-directed education comes from everyday life, as people pursue their own interests and learn along the way. The motivating forces include curiosity, playfulness, and sociability—which promote all sorts of endeavors from which people learn. Self-directed education necessarily leads different individuals along different paths, though the paths may often overlap, as each person’s interests and goals in life are in some ways unique and in some ways shared by others." 
  • Peaceful Parenting- We center parenting practices that support healthy child development by intentionally disrupting generational trauma passed on by oppressive child-rearing tactics (ex, spanking, shaming, yelling, intimidation, coercion, etc.) used to control child behaviors. We recognize many of us enter this space not necessarily knowing how to engage in peaceful parenting, however, eager to learn with and from each other on how to transition into this lifestyle.
  • Life & Love- Our most central core value is love--and naming whose lives we love on is critical in our work. While white co-conspirators are welcome into our Village, we are intentional in centering the lives and lived experiences of BIPOC families. We believe in creating a space that nurtures, protects, and supports all of us to express and explore the multiple, intersecting identities we bring to this village, such as ability, gender, sexual orientation, age, language, and socio-economic status to name a few. We believe a space like ours is necessary in normalizing and affirming the lives our society has historically not shown love for.

We Are Not A School

To be clear, MRM Village is not a school. MRM Village is revolutionizing education by swapping control of education, typically controlled by formal institutions, right back into the hands of caregivers and their children. We say "back to families", because we believe this type of education is not new. We offer families a bypass from the current, system of schooling that perpetuates white supremacy and stifles creative, critical thinking and people's innate ability to lead their own learning. Members that are approved into our main network, are able to purchase either a partial (Culturally Responsive Resources Membership ) or full membership (Co-learning for Liberation).


Our Co-learning for Liberation Approach

MRM Liberation Roots

Our virtual village intentionally centers the combined practices of healing and self-directed learning in an effort to live a liberated lifestyle. We do this by providing the resources and tools to cultivate a co-learning community of caregivers, educators, and youth that learn, create, and work together to nourish the roots of their collective and individual liberation and evolution. Parents that join our community understand that in order to raise free people, they must liberate themselves from the chains of oppressive practices and beliefs they've subconsciously internalized as a result of living in a white supremacist society. MRM Villager and Founder, Chemay-Morales-James, uses her combined experiences as an education equity and liberation consultant, public school teacher, and evolving unschooling parent to create a space where self-directed, decolonized learning opportunities and resources are made accessible for young people and the adults that nurture their development. MRM Village believes this type of education is best realized when families have the opportunity to…

  1. Build their critical consciousness about themselves and the world around them. (Conscious Building)

  2. Experience joy while exploring their interests and curiosities through play and real world, interactive activities.. (Joy Making)

  3. Develop culture specific skills. We don't teach subjects or academics. We believe children can learn culture specific skills, such as the foundations of reading, writing, and math, by immersing themselves in their passions and interests that are often connected through play and project-based learning. (Cultural Skill Building)

  4. Reconnect to the earth, body, spirit, and ancestral practices that were stolen, erased, or destroyed through past and present colonization. (Reconnecting to Land & Spirit)

  5. Heal from the trauma of racism and develop healthy living habits. (Racial Healing & Wellness)

  6. Learn how to take individual and collective action to dismantle and disrupt oppressive systems and practices. (Taking Action for Social Impact)

  7. See themselves validated in the learning tools they use in their self-directed learning journey. (Affirming Identities)

  8. Do all of the above in a culturally grounded, family-centered setting where they are able to co-create their learning paths in community with others at their pace and readiness level without coercion or manipulation.


Who We Serve

Find Out if We're a Fit For You

Our Village is for:

  • BIPOC families who have opted out of the schooling system (or realized during COVID they don't want to go back) in search for a more liberated family and educational lifestyle.
  • Educators & school going families searching for culturally responsive resources and community support to create learning environments that decolonize education and nurture the cultural identities of BIPOC youth.  
  • Revolutionary partners who want to co-create with families and other partners innovative, engaging, inter-generational learning experiences that aim to decolonize and liberate BIPOC without the constraints of grading, standardized testing, teaching certifications, and one-size-fits-all deficit models.
  • While the perspective and needs of BIPOC families is our primary focus, white co-conspirators are welcome to join the group and become active members. However, please know there will be discussions that speak directly to communities of color. As a co-conspirator, we expect that the things we discuss are not criticized and that for the things you may not understand or agree with, you listen and learn.

Equity-Based Memberships

Memberships

In order to meet the various needs and entry-level points members are in, regarding liberated education, we have created several options to join our community. Below are the 3 membership types we offer:

1. My Reflection Matters Village Network Membership (FREE!)

Our main MRM Village Network is free so that all members are able to learn more about our co-learning community and get samplings of the resources and events our other villages have to offer. Members here get FREE access to...

  • Monthly, live chats with special guests to support decolonized education and parenting. 
  • Member chat to ask questions and share thoughts related to SDE and parenting.
  • A-la-carte offerings for both parents and youth to sample some of the learning experiences typically reserved for paying members.
  • MRM CT Co-op Village exclusive for Connecticut members. 
  • Fare of the Free Child Village to get in on live chats to dissect select podcast episodes from F.O.F.C.

Educational partners that our team invites to this space to collaborate with our families are able to access the MRM Village Network, Co-learning Partners and Co-learning Partners Lab at no cost (See image above.). Membership into our free network can be done directly from this site by requesting to join above. Once approved by our team, you will be able to learn more about all of our villages and purchase a partial or full membership plan if you choose. Join today to learn more about each of our villages!

2. Co-learning for Liberation (Full) Membership

Our Co-learning for Liberation Membership is for families who want access to all of our villages (See image above.). NOTE: You must be a member of our free, main network in order to purchase this membership. Members at this level get to...

  • Build community with other families navigating self-directed education at home and share resources and offer advice to one another. 
  • Co-create customized learning experiences (that take place outside our platform) with other families and vetted, socially-conscious (majority BIPOC) facilitators, healers, & mentors to support decolonized parenting for caregivers and their children.
  • Receive direct support from Villager & Founder, Chemay, who has nearly 20 years experience working in education--first as a special needs public school teacher and later as a racial equity and liberation coach and consultant to educators, parents, and non-profit leaders.
  • Share, barter, or offer social service resources to each other outside education. This is vital as we all know access to quality health care, employment, and housing impacts a family's capacity to support their child(ren)'s learning.
  • Access weekly, culturally responsive resources and tips to support decolonized learning at home. 
  • Participate in socially conscious and joy-making events created by our community for our community.
  • Purchase or participate in a-la-carte learning experiences offered by our partners including MRM Villager and Founder, Chemay.
  • EXCLUSIVE ACCESS to "It's Okay to Ask" or I.O.T.A. led by Maleka Diggs & Alexa from Eclectic Learning Network. I.O.T.A. is an interactive, monthly video segment that explores parenting through modeling ways to integrate partnership-based approaches into our parenting practice through open conversation between a mother and daughter on a wide range of topics. (These sessions are donation based for members only.)

COST: Scroll down to see Sliding Scale Options.

3. Culturally Responsive Resources (partial) Membership

This membership is good for families or educators who only want access to our Culturally Responsive Resources Village (See image above.). NOTE: You must be a member of our free, main network in order to purchase this membership. Members at this level get...

  • Weekly Tips and tools from Village Founder & anti-racist educator, Chemay, to support decolonized education at home or in the classroom.
  • Special offers or discounts on culturally responsive educational products from our partners.
  • Community support from members everywhere--with varying experiences in social justice, self-directed learning, and decolonized education--to help guide you in creating learning environments that decolonize education and nurture the cultural identities of BIPOC youth.
  • Access to request help searching for culturally responsive resources.

Cost: $7.99/month

Sliding Scale Option

We are creating a space for own with our own community without relying on a structure that allows outside funders and board members control how dollars are used and how the work is defined. As a result, we've chosen to function as a social impact small business where people come before profits and profits are used to reinvest in our work and the people we serve. We've gone ahead and created 3 membership payment options that allow members to access our Co-Learning for Liberation (full) Membership at a price that fits their budget.  

  • Co-learning for Liberation (SUPPORTER)- $15.99/mth (reduced price)
  • Co-learning for Liberation (SUSTAINER)- $39.99/mth (regular price)
  • Co-learning for Liberation (PAY IT FORWARD)- $79.99/mth (covers your membership plus the cost for an additional member requesting financial support)

If none of the options work for you, please contact Chemay (Chemay@myreflectionmatters.org) to state what you can afford to pay or request a full scholarship (Please write "MRMV membership request" in the e-mail subject line.). Our scholarship dollars are based on how much we collect through our Patreon and Pay It Forward members. We encourage everyone to share our Patreon page to friends and family to help keep our space affordable and accessible.


It Takes A Village to Raise Free People!

We're calling all co-conspirators, allies, and freedom fighters to join us at Patreon to help make our village accessible to BIPOC families in need of our space. 

LEARN MORE!

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