David Harter with a group of children

A Community of Shared Learning – Knowledgefire Neighborhood Learning Laboratory

Date grant awarded: March 2019

Knowledgefire brings people from around the world together in the universally human act of figuring stuff out. As a country we are divided and afraid of each other unnecessarily. Learning from, or teaching someone, is an intimate gift that illuminates the individual uniqueness and universal personhood of all involved. Learning and teaching necessary skills in a genuinely diverse environment promotes understanding, tolerance and cooperation with the immediacy of self-motivation and with the permanency of grateful memory. It’s hard to hate the race or religion of the person who taught you how to tie your shoes. Knowledgefire is a beautiful way to learn because it is a beautiful way to know each other.

Learning and teaching are sources of immense power and there are precious few opportunities for the majority of participants in our education system to feel that sense of power as a force from within. Too often the forces of education are oppressive; Knowledgefire is instead, liberatory. Giving the gift of your knowledge is a concrete expression of power used to uplift; it both expresses power and endows it. I see learning as fundamentally joyful, meaningful and creative. Knowledgefire exists to spread that joy, and the conduits for it is a neighborhood full of diverse people. Teaching and learning are at the root of our species; what could be more important?

We make no money… no one here does; it’s a poor neighborhood. The money was helpful for actual program necessities and keeping the program running. It was also a really nice pat on the back. The Impact Grant is allowing us to bring food into the mix. Food presents a lot of opportunities for teaching, learning and cultural pluralism. Nothing brings people together like food and we’re excited to add cooking to our equation.

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