This is 401 years of systemic oppression and the devaluation of Black lives. This oppression and systemic racism is in Montessori – in our schools, our organizations, and in our discourse of the model as a vehicle for peace. It’s fed to our students through the white Eurocentric focus of our teachings. It is honored through the use of “grace and courtesy” to silence outcries of injustice in our schools, our training centers, and our children’s classrooms. And it is ignored through the use of posted solidarity statements but no actual action.
Montessori for Social Justice
Less than two months ago, when the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s land and rights to self-governance were under attack at the hands of the government, a call for support was met with swift action from members of Montessori for Social Justice. Today, the United States government is again implementing practices, policies, and tweets that support racist violence against Black and brown relatives.
On Friday, March 27th, the anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower, the U.S. Department of the Interior ordered that the Mashpee Wampanoag (the tribe that welcomed the pilgrims) reservation land be disestablished. This crushing decision was made in the middle of a global pandemic, forcing the Mashpee Wampanoag’s leadership to divert precious resources from addressing the threat of COVID-19 toward fighting this blatant act of settler-colonial violence and disregard for tribal sovereignty.
To the Montessori for Social Justice Community, First, we would like to acknowledge the difficult position many in our broader Montessori community are in as a result of the recent cancellations and travel bans. Choosing to close schools to protect the health of our students sometimes comes at a steep financial cost. We also see many in our Montessori community exchanging ideas for how to support at home learning, and are… Read More »Statement Regarding COVID-19
2019 Board Applications Dear Friends & Family of MSJ! The founding board has completed the first two years of working together and we are now, officially, a 501(c)(3)! Our board members have/had the opportunity to serve for 2 or 3 years terms. Some folx are ending their terms, and others are staying on. The current remaining board members will then work with and mentor new members in fulfilling our important… Read More »2019 Board Openings
Mission: We are a community of educators and parents committed to anti-bias anti-racist public and non-profit Montessori education as a vehicle for helping each child reach their full potential, providing educational equity, meaningful racial, economic, religious and special needs integration of students and families, building vibrant neighborhoods, towns and cities. Our Work: Over the last 4 years, Montessori for Social Justice has moved from an email listserv of 50 people to… Read More »Join our board!
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… Read More »MSJ Statement on the Election
Tiffany Jewell and Laura Kraby, both Montessori elementary teachers, write the first in a series of reflections teaching anti-bias anti-racist Montessori. Tiffany: I grew up in one of the poorest cities in the country. Our neighborhood of renters and elderly home-owners was filled with friends of varying shades of light and dark brown skin. My twin and I lived with our white mom. Our Black dad lived in Georgia. Our public… Read More »Our Big Work: Reflections on being Anti-Racist Montessorians
Joshua Vogt teaches government at Gamble Montessori High School, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here is the graduation speech he was invited to give in June 2016 by the senior class. You can listen to his speech here. First I’d like to thank our class of 2016 for inviting me to speak at your graduation today. Honestly, what were you thinking? Actually, I am truly honored to be here today in this… Read More »Dismantling the Artificial Obstacles, by Joshua Vogt
The Montessori for Social Justice steering committee is delighted to welcome Darcell Butler as our 2016 keynote speaker! Mrs. Darcell Williams-Butler teaches lower-elementary at City Garden Montessori School in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree from Washington University, and a Masters in Teaching from Webster University. She earned the Pre-Primary Montessori Certificate (3-6) from the Missouri Montessori Teacher Education Program (MOMTEP) in St. Louis, Missouri and the Primary Montessori… Read More »MSJ 2016 Conference Keynote Speaker