It is so much easier for children to learn when we are all welcome and feel whole.  With community building and helping us be our best selves in mind to optimize learning, HSC is proud to announce our two 2021 Keynote speakers: 

Peter Gray and Akilah Richards!

Akilah Richards

Peter Gray

Akilah Richards 

Akilah S. Richards is a writer, an unschooling organizer and podcaster, and a founding board member of The Alliance for Self-Directed Education. She is the primary voice behind Raising Free People Network, a community-oriented project that uses various media and training to challenge and encourage social justice-minded people to explore privilege and power in their relationships with children. Akilah's focus is helping Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities utilize unschooling as a tool for decolonizing learning, and for liberating themselves from oppressive, exclusive systems.

Peter Gray Ph.D.

 

Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College who has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education.  He is author of an internationally acclaimed introductory psychology textbook (Psychology, Worth Publishers, now in its 8th edition), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective.  His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books). He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today magazine.  He is one of the founders of the nonprofit Alliance for Self-Directed Education and is a founding board member of the nonprofit Let Grow, the mission of which is to renew children’s freedom to play and explore independently of adult control.

Please join us for the 2021 HSC conference to hear Peter and Akilah speak live and to have an opportunity to have your questions answered!

Check back, we will be adding our 2021 Featured Speakers soon!

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Aaron Eden

Aaron Eden has been transforming education since way back when he hacked his own high school experience. He has been designing and facilitating novel learning experiences for and with others ever since. In addition to being a leading voice in equity-based, co-creative learning and parenting, Aaron is Executive Director at the Institute for Applied Tinkering, the parent organization of Brightworks which is consistently listed as one of the most innovative schools in the world. He is also founding partner at Eliad Group, a transformation design firm, where he works with schools and businesses around the world to shift from command-and-control to co-creation as the basis for purposeful, innovative endeavor. Aaron’s ultimate mission is to re-humanize how we work, learn, live, and lead.

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Akilah S. Richards is a writer, an unschooling organizer and podcaster, and a founding board member of The Alliance for Self-Directed Education. She is the primary voice behind Raising Free People Network, a community-oriented project that uses various media and training to challenge and encourage social justice-minded people to explore privilege and power in their relationships with children. Akilah's focus is helping Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities utilize unschooling as a tool for decolonizing learning, and for liberating themselves from oppressive, exclusive systems.

Akilah Richards 

Elana K Arnold

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Elana K Arnold writes books for and about children and teens. Her YA novel DAMSEL was a Printz Honor Winner and a finalist for the California Book Award; her YA novel WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award and the California Book Award and was the winner of the Golden Kite Award; her middle grade novel A BOY CALLED BAT was a 2018 Global Read Aloud selection. Some of her books have been included on the LA Public Library's Best Books of the Year list, the Bank Street Best Book list, the YALSA "Best Fiction for Young Adults" list, have been ALAN picks, and have been selected for inclusion in the Amelia Bloomer Project, and have been Junior Library Guild selections. Her YA novel, INFANDOUS, won the Moonbeam Children's Book Award and the Westchester Fiction Prize. She holds a master's degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis and currently lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals.

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Erika Davis-Pitre

Erika Davis-Pitre and her husband Michael have 4 children - one daughter (41) and three sons (37, 35 & 27). They also have two sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law and two grandsons (13 & 6). She and her husband have moved back to San Francisco full-time after living in Connecticut for more than a decade. They have been unschooling for many years and love it, so Erika is always looking for opportunities to share their unschooling joy with others.

 

Erika has spoken at many un/homeschooling conferences, led quite a few funshops/workshops and has hosted and participated in many round table discussions about unschooling all over the US and Canada.  She especially enjoys talking about unschooling teens, sharing the joy of unschooling and celebrating diversity through unschooling. And last year, she agreed to become Co-President of HSC, adding her voice to an organization that is all about supporting all homeschoolers in California.

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Genesis Ripley

Culturalist , Writer, Activist

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Lainie and MIro

Lainie Liberti, a mom and recovering branding expert (whose 18 year career once focused on creating campaigns for green – eco businesses, non-profits and conscious businesses) and her now 21-year-old son Miro Siegel, set out 11 years ago on what became a life changing journey. In 2008, California’s economy took a turn causing the closure of many local businesses. Lainie and then 9-year-old Miro decided to “be the change” instead of victims as the pair began the process of redesigning their lives, with the dream of spending stress-free quality time together. After closing her business, selling and giving away all of their possessions, Lainie and Miro hit the road for what was to be a one year adventure mid-2009.

Eleven years, and almost fifty countries (and countless personal changes) later, Lainie and Miro continue to slow travel around the globe, living an inspired possession-free-lifestyle, volunteering and learning naturally from the world around them.

Both Lainie and Miro have been forever changed, inspired by diverse cultures, histories, languages and traditions, often encouraging the pair to examine their own humanity and interconnectedness.  Lainie and Miro have become advocates for life learning at any age, combined with travel. They call it “worldschooling."

In 2011, the mother and son duo co-founded Project World School in hopes of bringing this experience to others. Project World School was born from an inspired idea: co-create temporary learning communities around the world with teens and young adults, in order to collaborate in rich experiential and social learning. During the retreats, both natural and academic learning occurs through immersive cultural experiences while encouraging social learning, teamwork and leadership.

In addition to the teen retreats, Lainie and Miro also host two international family conferences a year called the Project World School Family Summits. To date, they's produced six summits, hosting hundreds of families and providing community for worldschoolers around the globe.

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Rob Endres

Rob Endres is an Investment Advisor for Stonebrook Capital Management and he is also an insurance agent, but more importantly, he’s an unschooling dad to two boys, Brady 27 and Jonathan 23. Rob and his wife Laura have unschooled for over 17 years and now have moved from the family farm in northern Illinois to sunny Los Angeles.

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Samantha Matalone Cook, MAT, has almost three decades of experience in education, program development, and the arts and has worked with both small and large organizations to create educational programming that centers and connects the learner to concepts and skills. She has taught in classrooms and in private workshops, mentored other educators, and worked for and with many museums including the Smithsonian. Samantha home educated her own kids and is a vocal advocate for consensual, knowledge and skill rich, experiential education. To see her past and current projects, including her blog and her upcoming book on Project-Based Learning and History Odyssey curriculum, please visit www.samanthamatalonecook.com

Samantha Matalone Cook