The heart of ATN rests on the network’s Activists in Residence (AiR) and the sites in which those AiRs organize. We are no longer accepting applications to be considered for the 2021 AiR cohort.
An Activist in Residence (AiR) is a local organizer with a current or prospective focus on educational liberation. Activists in Residence will lead abolitionist educational organizing in their respective cities, bringing together those who are looking to change their education infrastructures from ones that harm Black and Brown educators, staff, students, and parents to ones that uplift them, their stories, and arm them with the freedom to become their full selves. Activists in Residence will strategize and implement tactics for collective growth focused on Black and Brown abolition specific to education by strategizing alongside the Director of AiR and other ATN staff and board members, engaging periodically with local teachers, staff, students, parents, and invested community members, and conducting an evolving material analysis of local conditions.
Activists in Residence organize through a Black queer feminist lens. Charlene Carruthers’ book Unapologetic: A Black Queer, & Feminist Mandate for Radical Movement along with the book We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching & The Pursuit of Educational Freedom guide the work of the Activists in Residence.
Activists in Residence are paid for their work.
By choosing you as an Activist in Residence, we are choosing your city as an ATN Site. You may be a capable grassroots organizer, but if your community is not interested in advancing the abolitionist struggle, then sadly, it would not make sense for ATN to choose your city.* When ATN chooses you as an AiR, we are choosing to invest resources not only in you, but in your community. It is imperative that you have some understanding of your local conditions, groups, and potential sympathetic allies.
*If you are an organizer, teacher, student, parent, staff member or concerned community member who doesn’t yet have a community, please know that we are currently working on programming that will also help to benefit and support you outside of our Activist in Residence program. For now, please check our site for upcoming webinars and resources such as this Guide for Abolitionist Social & Emotional Learning and our ATN podcast.
An Activist in Residence will do the typical work of an organizer, including but not limited to power mapping, canvassing, building groups and/or coalitions, creating media, planning events, and more. You will be supported in the work that you do and you will have organizational resources at your disposal in order to help you not only with bird eye strategizing, but with day to day tasks. An Activist in Residence will report directly to and work for ATN, but be in close conversation with and embedded within their communities. ATN’s goal is to have Activists in Residence in place for a minimum of two years and depending on funding, for 3 to 5 years--longevity and persistence is integral to this work.
At this time, the Activist in Residence position promises $30,000 per year and approximately 20 hours per week. There may be opportunities for more hours and increased pay depending on funding. Activists in Residence will begin their position in Spring/Summer of 2021.
An organizer or an activist is someone who is interested in collaborating with others to dismantle oppressive structures while creating more liberatory practices and structures. You could be a parent who has been raising hell at your child’s school to challenge disciplinary punitive measures that affect Black and Brown students, someone who has been working to shut down your local prison or jail, or a community member who has set up a food pantry for their neighbors most affected by COVID. Organizers/activists, by virtue of what they do, have local knowledge: they know of official and unofficial leaders, what peoples’ pains and joys are, and how to empower people. Whether you call yourself an organizer/activist or not, you may in fact be one, and we challenge you to apply whether you are sure if your experience “counts” or not. You do not have to be directly involved in education at the moment for your application to be considered. However, you will become involved in education if selected as an AiR.
Though ATN wishes to partner with all of the activists and communities looking to create spaces of resistance and healing, we do not have the capacity to do so at this time.In order to grow sustainably and to give each site the attention that it needs and deserves, we will only be selecting a handful of Activists for each wave. ATN will be selecting and notifying Activists in Residence of their acceptance by March of 2021.
ATN is also working to create an authentic network. This means that we are committed to supporting abolitionist dreamers and doers wherever they reside and in whatever ways possible. We are currently working on programming and expanding our capacity to integrate any and all interested abolitionists into our network. Stay up to date with ATN social media and other platforms for announcements on these opportunities as they become available.
Lastly, please know that we support your freedom dreams and abolitionist struggles! We are honored that you are considering ATN as a way to amplify and develop your abolitionist freedom dreaming and doing, and we hope to fight stronger, together.
Thank you for your interest in the AiR program. The application window to be considered for the first wave of AiR is now closed. Those who submitted their applications on or prior to January 25th, 2021 were considered for the first wave of the Activist in Residence program. Please check back in late 2021/early 2022 to apply for AiR Wave Two.
If your application is selected, you will be contacted for a video interview. There may be additional rounds of interviews/conversations as the application process continues.
Adrienne (she/her/hers) has worked for more than 15 years to create educational environments wherein the skills and talents of young people who have previously been incarcerated grow and where young people can thrive. Adrienne's a racial justice advocate, an organizational racial justice strategist, a math teacher, an experienced school leader and soon, a lawyer. Much of her commitment to abolition comes from being a parent and having learned from the gentle parenting community. She loves baseball and soccer and makes a mean chocolate babka.
Angela (she/her/hers) is a 4th year, first grade teacher at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. African American Immersion School and chairwoman of the Black Educators Caucus in Milwaukee, WI. She is an abolitionist educator who is passionate about creating educational spaces where Black children are thriving. She is devoted to providing education to create accessible, inclusive, and uplifting environments in coalition with families, students, and community. She has dedicated her time to advocating for equitable education at the local and state level. She is devoted to and is an active member of her union and serves as her schools building representative and serves as a member of the Human and Civil Rights committee at WEAC. She is also a contributing author in the Black Lives Matter at Schools book.
ashley (she/her/hers) has had quite the life of performing and teaching and teaching performance. ashley has been celebrating her 20th year of teaching since the year started, and feels she's JUST getting to be at the top of her creating game with young people, family, and communities. ashley believes in young Black people, and hopes to live into the collective dreams, alongside community, of making schools the most joyful and loving place Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth can wonder, play, and learn. ashley has been through some very painful+joyful radical transformation as a Black person+educator and has been supporting other educators and community members in the same process of reclaiming themselves from white supremacy. What work, what JOY!
Jonathan (he/him/el) is an Atlanta-based Central American educator, researcher, and organizer. Dancing gives him joy and pupusas are his favorite food. He uses research, creative writing, teaching, and organizing to contribute to building the world that we all deserve to live in.
Keedra (they/she) is a life-long learner and educator of more than 20 years born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has learned from various communities while teaching in cities across the country including Atlanta, NYC, and most recently in Chicago, where she organized with Assata's Daughters and learned about youth organizing from some of the fiercest organizers in the Midwest region. After teaching in various parts of Africa, she designed and implemented programs for U.S. born students to learn about Pan-Africanism and form relationships with children through visiting Africa. She is thrilled to bring her work back home to establish Abolitionist Freedom Schools with Abolitionist Teaching Network in the Bond Hill community and to build upon a rich legacy within the Black Radical Tradition.
Mshairi (she/her/hers) is an Atlanta native (Kirkwood/Zone 6 to be exact). Mshairi identifies as a Black/Queer/Feminist/Nurturer/Liberator/Activist/Creative/Performer/Pre-K Enthusiast. She was educated at Georgia State University where she majored in African-American Studies. She has educated for Pre-K programs in Atlanta, New Orleans and Brooklyn. Mshairi is a member of The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and one of the leaders of The New African Scouts. She has done community work supporting the progression of Black people, anti-police brutality, anti-sex trafficking, sex worker rights, and the liberation of political prisoners. Mshairi has dreams of owning a community based school one day and will always continue to serve her community.
Ruth (she/they) is a student, educator, and organizer advocating for culturally responsive, equitable education. She studied music performance and education at Vanderbilt University before moving to Atlanta and teaching 2nd grade in Atlanta Public Schools. Abolition and collective liberation excite Ruth and drive her work in education.
For more information about the Activists in Residence program, contact Sarah Abdelaziz at hello at Abolitionist Teaching Network dot org