Dear Fellow Montessorians,
The protests across the globe this week following the murder of George Floyd are an urgent reminder that we must constantly examine how racism shapes our institutions and identify ways to dismantle and disrupt racism. This includes our Montessori schools and teacher education programs.
As the first Black Muslim president of the AMS Board of Directors, I am encouraged by our organization's strategic priority of Inclusion and Equity, which I believe to be our most important one.
AMS recognizes that institutional change is required to make an impact in the larger Montessori community. Ensuring environments where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and respected is our most important charge as a membership organization. Serving as the largest Montessori membership organization does not exclude us from the institutional racism that is pervasive in associations, schools, and training programs throughout the United States. As the saying goes, “None of us is free until all of us are free.”
Now is the time for us to be intentionally anti-racist, and to denounce and call out injustices that are occurring right before our eyes—injustices that impact the students, parents, staff members, and schools within our community, and in some cases determine whether they live or die. It’s time to stand for, and with, justice.
As we work toward creating a system that evaluates processes and programming and makes decisions based upon the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, we hope that you continue to engage with us as our organization strives to be anti-racist. Sometimes we take steps forward, and, sadly, sometimes we take steps backward. But in this moment, we say:
Black lives matter.
Black imagination matters.
Black creativity matters
Black potential matters.
Black educators matter.
Black children matter.
Black people matter.
Black lives matter.
Look to AMS in the coming weeks as we share more resources for teaching children about racism on our website and social media channels. In the meantime, please be well, be safe, be loud, and be anti-racist.
President, AMS Board of Directors