Educate yourself by following Rachel Cargle and The Great Unlearn
In this first installment of our series, Educate yourself through your feed, we talk about the brilliant Rachel Cargle and her projects, The Great Unlearn and the Loveland Foundation.
For this first week, we are focusing on one of the most important parts of learning about injustice: un-learning the stories we’ve been told which keep systems of injustice in place. These are stories about race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, nationality, politics, government and more.
So of course, we are kicking off by featuring The Great Unlearn, a project by the brilliant Rachel Cargle. Cargle is an impressive public academic who is dedicated to making education about the history and present of injustice accessible to all. Her approach is to emphasize “unlearning” as an integral part of learning. Before we can understand many parts of the history of injustice, we need to do the work of re-training our brains to be able to absorb new types of knowledge.
Each month, Cargle curates a “syllabus” of powerful texts that address a wide range of histories that have been strategically erased from history textbooks. Her style is a mix of faux-classroom and book club. Like a classroom, Cargle offers structure to our learning/unlearning process, but like a book club, the conversations and deep thinking that her followers do together are what really count.
Cargle’s syllabi are challenging, but in a good way. She features other brilliant scholars and is the perfect professor to guide us as we educate ourselves through our feeds.
The Great Unlearn is an academic approach to learning about systems of injustice. It is especially compelling because it is simultaneously scholarly and subversive. The scholars who Cargle highlights are the best in their fields. They are experts in teaching us how to recognize harmful narratives we have been trained to absorb through a status quo version of history that has been “told by the winners.”
Cargle is also the founder of The Loveland Foundation, which provides 4-8 therapy sessions free of charge for Black women and girls in an effort to support their healing and mental health. Making mental health safe and accessible for people who are most harmed by our system and culture of racism is incredibly important for Black lives and Black futures!
Even therapy can be treacherous for Black women and girls when their therapists are not trained and educated about how mental health is impacted by racism and sexism. The Loveland Foundation is working to address mental healthcare for marginalized people in a holistic way, both caring for individuals and igniting structural change, so that everyone can get appropriate and effective care.
Stay tuned for next week’s featured account! We will be highlighting someone who marches the journey to justice with a completely different approach from Cargle, because a big part of educating ourselves is listening to a diversity of voices.