On valentine’s day some fans of freeskool got together for a potluck, and to talk about oppression and privilege in the education system. One of the objectives of freeskool is to challenge some the systemic disempowerment that this culture’s learning institutions create, and part of that is becoming more aware of how oppression and privilege operate in each of our lives.
Freeskool hopes to challenge oppression both in form and content. We believe we should all learn how to be allies to people and communities who are oppressed by this culture. Part of learning outside the institution is learning about our own power!
We came up with some strategies for transforming oppression in our lives. Here are a few;
= be open to self-examination
= think of experts as resources, not the be all and end all authority
= disperse knowledge, and take responsibility for teaching
= remember that it’s a process
= lean into discomfort
= clearly define wants and needs in different situations
= recognize power
= use consensus
= value emotion and tactile growth in learning
= share ideas and play off each other
= use speakers list, and value pauses. Make space.
= choose silence sometimes
= redefine learning, and redefine success
= seek input
= share the role of facilitation
= choose roles that distribute, rather than accumulate, power
= allow for anonymous feedback
= address the existence of colonization, an “unnatural order”
= give up power
= quit your job!
= value diverse knowledge
= stop grasping
= ask for consent
= embrace safer spaces
= foster beautiful, mutualistic relationships
= remember our baggage.
For more resources on anti-oppression work, visit the OPIRG resource library, room 229 of the McMaster University Student Centre!