Dear Montessori for Social Justice Community,
The American election results have impacted our children, families, schools and all of us and in many different ways. The messages of hate that many of us heard during the campaign have become real and threatening. Some of us have felt uncertainty, fear, rejection, concern for our physical safety and the safety of our children and our friends. Students and teachers who are more recent immigrants fear deportation and splitting apart their families. Our Native American Montessori colleagues see the irony in American immigrants further restricting access to land that was not originally theirs. As educators, here is how we view our work going forward:
In our classrooms, we work to recognize the unique beauty and potential of every child, and help our students understand the uncertain society around them. We commit to looking inward, and examining our own implicit biases. We commit to improving our practices and school policies to better support diversity, openness and accessibility. We are committed to creating systems that produce equitable outcomes for all.
We stand together as a country founded on the principles of democracy, and we work to continue to realize those principles for everyone. We demand respect and expect that our voices matter. We hold vigil for those who are afraid to speak out and for those who do not have the resources, the opportunity, or the ability to protest. We commit to continuing to work to protect the most vulnerable families in our communities…our children no matter what race, gender or class. Our Muslim, Latinx, Native American, African American, Asian, LGBTQ, immigrant and refugee neighbors are loved and welcome in our schools.
Martin Luther King, Jr said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We choose love. We choose to transform. We choose to stand together. We choose to speak out. Our children’s hearts are enormous. We will do our best to provide them with a safe and hopeful place to spread their love. We will work to make America reflect the communities of respect we create in our classrooms.
In love and solidarity,
Karen Farquharson, Montessori del Mundo, Aurora, CO
Dale Mogaji, Northglade Montessori Magnet School, Kalamazoo, MI
Trisha Moquino, Keres Children’s Learning Center, Cochiti Pueblo, NM
on behalf of Montessori for Social Justice