Our Organizing Team

The organizing team for the Alliance, working behind the scenes to manage this website, support Alliance members, coordinate advocacy projects, and help augment the voices and experiences of those in the Self-Directed Education movement everywhere, includes the following people:

(in alphabetical order)

[photo]Akilah S. Richards*

I’m a writer, mama, partner, digital nomad, and unschooling activist. I produce podcasts, books, classes, and articles on radical self-expression in practice and in study. Find my conversations and commentary at where I aim to support, connect, and highlight people of color designing their own liberation through Self-Directed Education and love-centered community building.

[photo] Alexander Khost (he/him)

I am Editor-in-Chief of Tipping Points and founder of Voice of the Children, promoting and facilitating art and activism for young people. I am also Secretary / Treasurer of Friends of the Modern School, supporting the history of anarchistic education and work at the homeschooling coop, Brooklyn Apple Academy. Previously I founded the Teddy McArdle Free School, a democratic free school and more recently co-founded play:groundNYC, a junkyard playground for children.

[photo]Bria Bloom (she/her)

I am a born and raised unschooler and have the daily joy of parenting a self-directed learner. I am a passionate advocate for SDE and young people's rights, and channel this passion through my work with various communities. I am also the Executive Director of ASDE; a facilitator and founder of PDX Flying Squads, a community for self-directed young people in Portland, OR; a writer; and a co-organizer of Portland SDE, a local SDE group in Portland, OR. To check out more of my work and what I'm involved in visit

[photo]Karl Keefer

I am a self-taught software engineer, entrepreneur, and a co-founder of a soon-to-exist SDE space in Portland, Oregon — the Alder Commons. I'm excited that so many people are making SDE an option for kids all over the world, and thrilled at the opportunity to help ASDE spread the word.

[photo]Kevin Currie-Knight*

I am a Teaching Associate Professor in East Carolina University's College of Education. I teach and research about the philosophy, history, and sociology of (American k-12) education, as well as the psychology of how people learn. Reading the literature on how people learn was what convinced me that learning happens best when it is self-directed. I am the author of the book Education in the Marketplace, have written articles for ASDE's Tipping Points Magazine, and co-host and produce the Learning by Living Podcast, about people who learn outside of conventional schools. I also serve as the President of the Board of Directors at the Pathfinder Community School in Durham, NC.

[photo]Kerry McDonald*

I first became interested in schooling alternatives while studying education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. That led me to discover the promise of Self-Directed Education for all children. I now spend my days as an unschooling mom to four never-been-schooled children in Cambridge, MA, and blog regularly at Whole Family Learning.

[photo]Maleka Diggs*

I am a racial equity and inclusion trainer and founder of Philadelphia- based Eclectic Learning Network; a secular, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) centered network; dedicated to providing resources, trainings, and workshops to families and learning spaces that shift ways toward learning as a lifestyle and partnership-based relationships through unschooling and self-directed learning approaches.

[photo]Pat Farenga*

I bring more than 35 years of fieldwork, advocacy, and personal experience in homeschooling and alternative education to help parents and children learn in their own ways. I continued to publish Growing Without Schooling magazine after the death of its founder in 1985, the author/teacher John Holt, until 2001. I publish and several books and articles about learning outside of school.

[photo]Peter Gray*

I’m a research professor of psychology at Boston College and author of a widely used college introductory psychology textbook (now in its 7th edition). Much of my research focuses on children’s natural ways of learning and the experiences of people who have taken a self-directed route to their education. I’m author of the book Free to Learn and a blogger for Psychology Today magazine.

[photo]September James

I am a forever deschooling Self-Directed Education and children's rights advocate, musician, writer, roller-skater, entrepreneur, and student intern at the Village Free School in Portland, OR. My life's purpose is to liberate people through SDE, and I am so grateful to be a part of the magical, inspiring, paradigm-shifting community that is ASDE!

[photo]Scott Noelle

I’m a parenting coach, author, speaker, and father of two self-educated, young-adult children. I’m best known for my book and blog, The Daily Groove, through which I help parents cultivate a mindset of creative partnership — with children and in general. I’ve introduced many parents to SDE and witnessed the trans­formation of their families. It’s truly amazing!

[photo]Stephen Dill*

As a systems thinker, I came up with my own solution to individual learning at and began to find others who believed in Self-Directed Education as the future. Ultimately, I desire to reverse the negative consequences of denying individuals the environment each needs to develop as a well-rounded human: play, respect, freedom to learn as they wish, and opportunity to apply themselves to their calling.

[photo]Tomis Parker*

I have been facilitating in Self-Directed Education environments since 2009. I helped birth the first Agile Learning Center in NYC and served as the Director for three years. I now live in Charlotte, NC where I work and play at ALC Mosaic. I want to help organize a coherent movement for Self-Directed Education, because I believe trusting children is the most powerful catalyst for social change.

* ASDE Board of Directors:
Akilah S. Richards
Kerry McDonald
Maleka Diggs
Pat Farenga
Peter Gray (president)
Stephen Dill (chair)
Tomis Parker (treasurer)

Past Organizing Team Members:
Brooke Newman (former BOD)
Cevin Soling (former BOD)
Danielle Denver (former BOD)
Jack Schott
Jens Peter de Pedro
Laura Kriegel