My Reflection Matters supports Connecticut home-schoolers in raising ‘free people’ outside the system
Many parents are homeschooling their children due to the pandemic, but Chemay Morales-James beat them to it. She has been home-schooling for years, not due to coronavirus, but due to another seemingly incurable pandemic: racism. And she’s not alone.
“Parents are deciding that the way school is designed doesn’t work for most kids, especially kids of color. They are not hearing the true history of who they are, the history of the country. They are not hearing what affirms their identities as Black and brown children,” Morales-James said.
In 2016, Morales-James, a former teacher and mother of two from Watertown, started My Reflection Matters. The consulting service helps parents and educators find classroom materials and tools that are culturally responsive and affirming.
Her business has expanded to include My Reflection Matters Village, a membership co-op of parents who agree that public schools diminish kids’ self-esteem, teach them ineffective educational methods and indoctrinate them into a traditional whitewashed, racially insensitive version of history.
“We are Black, indigenous and other people of color on a journey toward liberated education, which we also call decolonized education,” Morales-James said. “I consider this liberation work. If we really want to raise free people, it would have to happen outside the system.”