This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Krystal Dillard was conducted remotely via Zoom on March 2, 2022, while Krystal was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Krystal is the co-director of the Natural Creativity Center, an educational center for families that choose an alternative to school. In the interview, Krystal talks about all the changes that have happened for her and the center since her last interview in 2020-- she describes the move from in-person, to online, to outdoor, to indoor programming over the past two years and how different age groups within the center have handled those changes. She also talked about navigating political differences around COVID testing and vaccination, and how safety protocol led to some staff and families leaving. Krystal also talked about supporting the gender explorations of the learners at the center and making changes to ensure robust staff support around that. While none of these changes were easy, Krystal felt like the center became a better environment for their learners and more aligned with its founding principles. Krystal also discussed the impact of the 2020 protests around race in putting up her own boundaries as co-director of the center and in supporting the Black families at the center. She reflected on feeling low at the time of her last interview and how she found her footing over the last two years. Krystal also discussed the positive impacts of a partnership with a counseling center that provides therapy for the young learners, their families, and the staff. Lastly, she talked about looking forward to distributing the work of running a small non-profit more widely so that she can come to her work with as much autonomy and enthusiasm as the young learners and staff at the school do.
Liam McBain is an associate producer for NPR's It's Been a Minute. He's also on a mission to read 100 books this year.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.