Episode 54 – Deconstructing & Rebuilding Our Education System, Part 2

Conversation with Dr. Kimberly Douglass & Dr. Robin Harwick. Musical Guest: San Palo.

Listen to our 2-part conversation with Dr. Kimberly Douglass and Dr. Robin Harwick on The Nasiona Podcast‘s episode 53 “Deconstructing & Rebuilding Our Education System, Part 1” and episode 54 “‘Deconstructing & Rebuilding Our Education System, Part 2.”

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Deconstructing & Rebuilding Our Education System, Part 2

How can we reimagine school systems to fit the concerns of students in the 21st century? On our last episode, I spoke with Dr. Kimberly Douglass and Dr. Robin Harwick to identify the pain points of our education system, and to explore how we can deconstruct and rebuild it anew. They are the co-authors of the book YOU are the Revolution! Education that Empowers your Black Child and Strengthens your Family, and also are at the center of the innovative The Pearl Remote Democratic High School. Today we continue the conversation by going behind the scenes of The Pearl and learn about democratic education.  The Pearl is a personally relevant and student-centered educational experience. Students benefit from being part of a dynamic international learning community while being supported by mentors, educators, and professionals. The Pearl’s students are prepared for whatever life they choose.

I had the honor of speaking with both Dr. Kimberly Douglass and Dr. Robin Harwick on the 9th of August, 2020. This is the second part of our two-part conversation.

But before we jump into the conversation with Dr. Kimberly Douglass and Dr. Robin Harwick, Aïcha Martine Thiam and I would like to introduce you to The Nasiona BIPOC Music Series. We will begin most podcast episodes this year by showcasing a BIPOC musical artist from our series, which you can explore at TheNasiona.com. Today’s musical guest is San Palo, and she performs his track “Rainy Day,” which you can find in The Nasiona‘s compilation BIPOC musical album, Volume 1: Petrichor.

Want to be considered for our BIPOC Music Series? Go here to learn more.


Dr. Kimberly Douglass is president and CEO of Remote Learning Solutions. She coaches neurodivergent PhDs/EdDs on the personal, social, and technical aspects of career and entrepreneurship. In addition to moving clients from deficit-based to strengths-based thinking, she helps PhDs/EdDs develop content across a range of subjects. She helps clients deliver content in the form of ebooks, online courses, workbooks, journals, workshops, and more. Dr. Douglass bases her coaching practice on five values: empathy, justice, love, neurodiversity, and purpose. She worked in higher education for over 17 years in various roles and earned a PhD in political science in 2009 and tenured in Information Sciences in 2016 at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Her teaching and scholarship have developed at the intersection of information science and political behavior.

Robin Harwick is an author, scholar, and consultant dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through research, teaching, and service. She earned a Master of Science in Special Education and Doctorate in Secondary Special Education and Transition from the University of Oregon.

Dr. Harwick  has been a member of academic, governmental, and private research teams since 1995. She also worked extensively in direct service of children and families as a parent educator, home visitor, and therapeutic foster parent. She has taught at the graduate and high school levels.

After years spent coaching youth and young adults on how to achieve their dreams – she decided it was time to “walk her talk” and embarked on a world schooling adventure with her teenage son and two dogs! The journey took them to Mexico, and they decided to make it home. After almost a decade of searching for a democratic learning environment for her son, he gave her the idea of starting her own school. She listened and The Pearl Remote Democratic School was born. Dr. Harwick will be teaching the foundations course at The Pearl, and other courses at student request. 

William (AKA: San Palo) Broughton is a California-based composer/producer that crosses many genres from Jazz, classical, electronic, hip hop, and others. His work has appeared in many media forms such as podcasts, short films, art shows, commercials, and collaborative albums. He is currently composing for a comedy television show that is in pilot. Needing an experimental creative avenue away from commercial writing, William created a secondary artist persona known as San Palo. San Palo Way is the street William grew up in suburban Las Vegas, Nevada. The name San Palo honors his musical upbringing in Las Vegas and humbles him on why he creates music. His debut album as San Palo, Beatudes Vol. I, captures the melancholy of nostalgia with the raw emotions he went through in creating the album.

Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/his/él) is a bilingual, Colombia-born culture architect with Afro-Euro-Indigenous roots. For two decades, Julián has worked toward humanizing those Othered by oppressive systems and dominant cultures. He is the creator of the social justice storytelling movement The Nasiona, where he also hosts and produces The Nasiona Podcast. He’s a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee, a Trilogy Award in Short Fiction finalist, and the author of Marx’s Humanism and Its Limits and Reporting On Colombia. His poetry collection, Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins, is available now. His work appears in  PANK MagazineInto the Void MagazineThe Acentos Review, Novus Literary and Arts Journal, Havic 2021: Inside Brilliance, among others. Julián holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from the University of New Hampshire and was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.

The Nasiona Podcast amplifies the voices and experiences of the marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten, as well as gives you a glimpse into Othered worlds. We focus on stories that explore the spectrum of human experiencesstories based on facts, truth-seeking, human concerns, real events, and real people, with a personal touch. From liminal lives to the marginalized, and everything in between, we believe that the subjective can offer its own reality and reveal truths some facts can’t discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López

Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona

Thank you to Aïcha Martine Thiam for co-producing the BIPOC Music Series component of the episode, and to San Palo for being our musical guest.

Original music for The Nasiona Podcast was produced by the Grammy Award-winning team of Joe Sparkman and Marcus Allen, aka The Heavyweights.
Joe Sparkman: Twitter + Instagram. Marcus Allen: Twitter + Instagram.

The Nasiona Magazine and Podcast depend on voluntary contributions from readers and listeners like you. We hope the value of our work to our community is worth your patronage. If you like what we do, please show this by liking, rating, and reviewing us; buying or recommending our books; and by financially supporting our work either through The Nasiona’s Patreon page or through Julián Esteban Torres López‘s Ko-fi donation platform. Every little bit helps.

Thank you for listening and reading, and thank you for your support.

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