Anashay Wright on The 74: "When the Point of the Pod Is Equity"
How Small Grants Are Empowering Parents of Underserved Students to Form Pandemic Microschools
When schools shut down in March, Anashay Wright immediately helped organize a pod near her home in Decatur, Georgia, ultimately enrolling her two children in Afrocentric homeschooling programs to supplement the distance learning their current schools were scrambling to implement.
One, the Kibolebole, has offered virtual classes for 16 years. “My kids did not miss a beat,” says Wright, the founder of a nonprofit called Disruptive Partners. “In complete transparency, they were actually receiving a more rigorous and culturally affirming learning experience.”
Wright’s grant will underwrite a three-pronged plan, starting with building an online hub where families can find co-ops, pods, the resources to start their own pods and a place to exchange strategies. She will give leadership training to parents who then coach others on creating a pod or tapping community resources. Members of a “Disruptive Leadership Cohort” will work to influence K-12 policy.
Anashay Wright’s daughter Karis attends Kilombo Academic and Cultural Institute. (Anashay Wright)
“The power is not in creating the pod; the power is in teaching you to create change,” she says. “How do you leverage your community relationships to support your efforts?”
In addition to $500 stipends for 20 parents in her first training cohort, Wright’s $25,000 grant includes $8,500 for five months of project management, $5,000 for web management during the same time frame and $1,500 for software that will enable her to turn content into online courses.