CfC, working with the Providence Student Union, brought together students from Rhode Island, Arizona, North Carolina, Missouri, and Texas via Zoom to share their insights and experiences in order to reimagine the future of education. The Youth contributing to the symposium have been shaped by their experiences in a variety of schools, and through the remote learning that has been necessary since the pandemic was declared, and most recently by the renewed civic activism in response to recent police violence against black people. They have been invited to voice their opinions on where education needs to move in order to be relevant, meaningful, and equitable. 


There are many actors and decision-makers working towards systems change in education. For us at CfC, our practice focuses on seeing, questioning, and developing pathways for how all the parts should be integrated as wholes to improve outcomes. Students are core decision-makers and change agents to building systems that support them. Clint Smith, author, poet, and scholar, has written, “do not for one moment think you cannot change what exists. This world is a social construction; it can be reconstructed. This world was built; it can be rebuilt. Use everything that you accrue to reimagine the world.” CfC is pleased to be able to provide an opportunity for students from across the US to come together to reimagine education, and through this symposium, to offer a platform for their voices and ideas. 


Cornel West has observed that education “is about the formation of attention. So you attend to the things that matter.” The adults involved in this project provided a Youth-led virtual space with “just enough scaffolding”. Through three sessions, student ideas were developed through creative practice in order to publish outcomes we hope will resonate. Students applied their understanding and imaginations to call us all to attend to the things that matter.

Youth Contributors

Jayda Williams

Kevin Nguyen

Michellet (Michy) Brand

Joseph Grajales

Dalex Zenteno

Rubi Perez Vazquez

Melvin Shaw Jr.

David Amir Carrizosa

Discussion Weavers

Javier A. Juarez,

Executive Director,

Providence Student Union

Alvaro M. Morales,

Mixed Media Documentarian,

Sumak Productions 

Julie Woods 

Program Coordinator

Center for Complexity 

Sahib Singh 

Strategic Design Lead 

Center for Complexity 

Ingredients for a Utopian School

The following content is the collaborative creation of the Youth who met with CfC and PSU as part of our virtual symposium. These ideas and proposals developed during and between 3 Zoom sessions are the result of spirited and thoughtful consideration. The cohort has titled their work, Ingredients for a Utopian School. #ingredientsforautopianschool