It takes collectivism to ignite activism for systemic change

- Yolanda McGhee

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Why Our Liberated Village Model Works

Collectively taking a BOLD stance to change the narrative…

We know that one organization can’t disrupt and dismantle the harm that has been done and by working together to bring synergy will provide the greatest amount of impact and success. The Liberated Village aims to repair, restore and support relationship-building by creating an anti-racist and culturally-informed school environments and communities.

What makes our approach a movement is that we understand the power of collective vision, mission, and impact. The Village is built on cultural customs and norms that live in our DNA, shaped from our historical and generational roots and strengths.


The Liberated Village embrace the 7 Kwanzaa Principles (aka Nguza Saba)

The principle of collective work and responsibility is exemplified by the organizations as we focus on building and maintaining our communities while solving problems together. In response to systemic trauma including racism and anti-Blackness, the Liberated Village works in unity, cooperatively and creatively, to innovate and restore greatness to our children and families in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. County, with faith and purpose.

The Liberated Village applies The People’s Institute for Survival and beyond Undoing Institutional Racism beliefs that a movement for social transformation must be rooted in 10 guiding Anti-Racist Principles:

The Liberated Village Steering Committee

The movement involved organizing a Steering Committee (SC) made up of fifteen (15) voted by the Village members that includes, representation from King County Liberated Village program staff, awardee staff, parents, youth, and other subject matter experts from the community. The Steering Committee is a decision-making body that participates in participatory budgeting that allowed them to identify, discuss and prioritize spending which gives them the power to make real decisions about how money is spent and identified the methods used to conduct a deep dive evaluation.

We co-created a mission, vision, and collective Theory of Change that identified 9 key community-focused strategies, solutions, and outcomes. We are working together to tell our collective story, the truth behind the numbers. The Steering Committee identified BIPOC-Led External Evaluation Consultants from the community to work in collaboration with the Village and the County.    

The Liberated Village Four (4) Learning Community Cohorts

All 30 organizations participate in a learning cohort to share learning in a cross-sector collaboration that provides opportunities to build solutions for the challenges of our youth. The learning communities’ cohorts are self-governing and have identified cohort leads.

The learning community cohorts are designed to impact change in systems, advance equity in practices, and co-create to ensure community ownership over the design, processes, and decision-making. The four (4) learning communities’ cohorts have been meeting monthly, planning and working together while co-creating ways to dismantle and change traumatizing systems for our BIPOC youth.


The Liberated Village Evaluation Subcommittee

There are ten (10) members on the Evaluation Subcommittee which includes representatives from King County Liberated Village staff, External BIPOC-Led Evaluation Consultant, community subject matter experts, and awardees.

The Evaluation Subcommittee meets at least twice per month and/or as needed bases, they also participate in the planning of content for the Steering Committees as well as attend monthly Steering Committees meetings. The Evaluation Subcommittee promotes next-level thinking, research, training, and identify methods and technical assistance to support and increase knowledge, skills, and evaluative intelligence in service of equity.


The Liberated Village co-created a collective Theory of Change (TOC) that provides clear direction and alignment to the vision and mission


The Theory of Change Strategies Are Defined by the Liberated Village as Follows --->


Community Level Engagement

An insistence that African Americans and other communities most impacted by institutional racism are authentically engaged in a jointly developed mission statement with a matrix for power sharing with educational systems in decision making that includes a strategic plan for execution of objectives and corresponding timelines.

Identity Development 

The development of scholar’s potential made possible through an honest telling of the stories and contributions of all communities with the goal of empowering scholars in authoring their unique identities that will include their own self-determined values, beliefs, and aspirations.

Racial Trauma

An understanding of the social, political, and socio-economic conditions and nature of systemic racism that impact scholar’s esteem, learning, functioning, and overall well-being as humans include, but not limited to: experiencing constant threat of raciabl discrimination, microaggressions, and harassment; witnessing violence and discrimination; reliving or being triggered by historical and personal memories of racism; and having to navigate through and being harmed by institutional racism. These negative and harmful impacts are often exacerbated by the personal biases and internalized racist superiority of educators and the subconscious of black educators that uphold white supremacy ideology.

Restorative Practices

Creating a climate that allows for scholars and educators to address and heal from harms committed by and against them (racial trauma and racism) by focusing on practices that include:

  • Honest and difficult dialogue, trust-building, management of emotions, holding space for healing
  • Eliminating punitive and disproportionate exclusionary discipline practices affecting BIPOC scholars.
  • Bias education for staff and administrators
  • Collaborative partnership and decision-making with families of BIPOC communities to insure unbiased solutions to their scholar's academic success.
Youth leadership development 

Our village provides a safe, encouraging environment for scholar leadership teams to embrace intergenerational learning and intersectionality where youth lead with a voice to dismantle and eliminate anti-Blackness, through cultivating courageous conversations as a means of promoting social justice. 

Racial equity and curriculum enhancement 

The scholar’s curriculums include a racial equity and curriculum enhancement program that frames global citizenship and opportunities for scholars to study their history with pride, celebrate accomplishments, and showcase social justice work with an anti-racist, ethnic studies lens infused in all subjects of study. 

Family-level engagements

Our village creates opportunities for parents (the child’s first teacher) to collaborate with parents on the positive aspects of their children and engage in advocacy and partnerships in the school for the purpose of power-sharing and decision making in partnerships between schools, administrations, parents, and scholars, that embraces anti-Blackness and anti-racism in courageous spaces both in and outside of school.

Capacity building

Every member of our village is part of a collective effort to support scholars and families in reaching a desired state of, now hear this word, Liberation. The village grows sustainable strength towards the repositioning of power and advocacy for social justice in which members.

Systems Policy Engagement

Assuring and creating equitable policies, examining current recommendations that are implemented and executed to target BIPOC scholars with changes in hiring, funding, and being held accountable to BIPOC communities.