Jeremy Bearer-Friend is a Ph.D. student in education policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former fellow with the Movement Strategy Center, the Greenlining Institute, and Young People For.
Michelle and her daughter M.J. sit in a coffee shop in a Wyoming strip mall, just over the border from their small town in Colorado. M.J., an eighth-grader, shyly sips her iced mocha and speaks with the "likes" endemic to junior-high hallways. Michelle talks with a calm and slightly tired maternal presence. She and M.J. take turns explaining how they learned to remake the boundaries of their own hometown.