For over a decade, Riahl has created social and economic justice education programs in Canada, Central America and the United States.
Riahl's love for education and organizing began when he was a teenager. In his rural Minnesota hometown, he spent much of his time at a youth drop-in center where other young people taught him to run meetings, organize events, and lobby city council to advocate for himself and his peers. In college, he was introduced to “Popular Education” and the works of Paulo Freire by his friend and mentor, Lan Anh Ha, and together they co-founded a youth-led training program, leading retreats to inspire anti-oppressive action using participatory methods of teaching and learning.
Riahl applied his passion for facilitation and training development to organizing for economic justice. After college, he moved to Nicaragua where he led delegations from the U.S. to inspire action against neoliberalism and unjust U.S. foreign policy. Then, as Education Director for the national movement-support organization United for a Fair Economy, he trained hundreds of trainers and planned curricula reaching thousands of people, applying the principles of popular education to understanding the economy.
Riahl holds a Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He lives in East-Side Saint Paul with his wife, collaborator, and co-founder of the organization Learning to Transform, Indira Garmendia. Read more about their work : www.learningtotransform.org.