The Education for Liberation Network is grounded and built on the radical belief that love, authentic relationships, and community are fundamental values, principles, and practices needed for our collective liberation. Our beloved movement sibling, Thomas Nkondo Nikundiwe, embodied these values in every aspect of his life and inspired us all to reflect on who and how we are meant to be in this world. On July 4, 2021, our cojourner and beloved Thomas transitioned from this physical realm but continues to be ever present with us on our journeys toward education for liberation from all forms of oppression.
Thomas taught us the importance of centering youth and developing shared leadership in every aspect of our organizing. He valued process over product. He believed that young people have so much wisdom, creativity, and love to practice with us and that creating space for horizontal leadership offers us all paths toward building true intergenerational power.
Thomas showed us that the how of anything we do is intertwined and is a reflection of any goals we might speak, write or sketch. Our brother also modeled a deep, radical love for liberatory education that is everywhere, every day, and drenched with expertise within and across generations.
Thomas left us with life changing words and memories of him, he left us with imprints on our souls of a man who loved, worked, and laughed every day of his life in this realm. His transition offered us the sobering reminder that tomorrow is never promised and that our lives will always be a testimony for others to learn from long after we transition. His memory continues to nourish us and germinate beneath the soles of our feet as we continue to get further rooted in what will be a lifetime of work and a legacy to continue on long after our physical lives end. Thomas showed us that we are connected in the belief that a life in the struggle for liberation is a life well-lived.
Our (re)membrance of his presence and spirit in our hearts and minds is an opportunity for us to (re)connect and remain in an infinite and eternal fellowship with our beloved T, each other, and the values and principles he embodied in this world. Each time we’re moved to deepen how we practice care and interconnectedness has become a sacred moment to honor and continue to be impacted by T’s wisdom. His greatest legacy and teachings were and still are rooted in the radical principle that we get to practice our values and freedom dreams when we commit to being in right relation to one another. For that, and so much more, we are endlessly grateful to him for teaching us how to build collectively to get further along on our path to getting free.
Meet the Education for Liberation Network Board Members & Staff