MSJ Conference Guidance

To support a conference community that empowers individuals to share their stories, develops empathetic listeners and builds a strong community to enact change, please use the following conversation/ dialogue guidance at our conference:

-Assume good will

-Listen deeply (without preparing your response/retort/defense in your head) and honest sharing.

-Be mindful and present.

– Yield the space and share “air” time.

-Use “I” statements when sharing experiences, feelings, and opinions.

-Address statements that are said, not the individual saying them

-Speak from personal experience

-Ask if you don’t understand

-Question what you hear and what you think

-Dialogue is not about agreement, it’s about deepening understanding.

– We have respect, empathy, and non-judgment.


Please also keep in mind the following guidance.

– This is a space for people of all racial/ ethnic, religious, gender expressions, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational background, sexual orientation, etc. We are all working together and working towards equity in our Montessori communities.

– Everyone in this community interested in Montessori and Social Justice is welcome to speak here. Montessori pedagogy alone does not make anyone the experts on children (especially children facing oppression). We recognize that parents and families can and do provide important and extensive information and insight regarding the children we interact with, support, and guide on a daily basis.

– We may use the terms People of Color and People of the Global Majority interchangeably.

– Recognize there is a time to share and a time to listen. No one knows what it is like to bear the brunt of racism/ bias and oppression like the folks with this lived experience. Listen to the people who are sharing these experiences. Learn by stepping back and observing. Think before you speak.

– Be aware that grace and courtesy can sometimes be used as a tool to silence People of the Global Majority and that the term “respect” is often coded as a way to silence disagreeable conversation, particularly for PoC. Use “grace and courtesy” as a positive tool for guidance and interactions in this community.

– Please refrain from calling out individuals. We are all working on our personal transformation, understanding our biases, understanding our supremacy and our oppression, and working on how we can do this work together.

Thank you and we look forward to being in dialogue and community with you at this conference!

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