Our Hearts Grieve
To our fellow Montessorians;
We join the nation in grieving the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as the deaths of Breonna Taylor, a first responder in Louisville, Kentucky, shot in her own bed; Ahmaud Arbery, shot while jogging near Brunswick, Georgia; and far too many other black men and women, who have been the victim of racist action in our nation. The International Montessori Council (IMC) and the Montessori Foundation are committed to advancing world peace, equity, inclusion, and diversity. We recognize that these are not isolated incidents but emblematic of a longstanding, egregious pattern of systemic racism – and we stand against it. We must dedicate ourselves to the achievement of real justice and equality for all because injustice and inequality—against even one person—diminishes all of us.
We recognize that it is not enough for us to reject racism. We must be committed to fighting it, to eradicating it on individual and systemic levels. Michelle Obama wrote: “Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”
We are aware that this work requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-examination and criticism, intentional systemic change, and a willingness to listen, call out, and stand up. We must send out into the field, Montessorians who are race-conscious guides, credentialed by an association which must model antiracist, conscious principles, and actions.
In a period in which individuals and organizations are not being held accountable, the IMC and Montessori Foundation are committed to this work and to being held accountable for our work to bring an end to racism within our structures.
We also remain committed to the ongoing work of building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive world community. The International Montessori Council (IMC) and The Montessori Foundation also recognize and acknowledge the internal work we all must do. To that end, we are now creating a Social Justice Task Force that will address and act on:
- The inner work of every Montessori teacher, parent, and leader to root out unconscious habits of prejudicial thinking and ideologies
- A Social Justice Curriculum and the instructional changes we must bring into every prepared environment and teacher education program
- Changing our schools’ culture, communications, hiring, and professional development practices and norms, to be more equitable, diverse, and inclusive
- The advocacy work Montessori educators and leaders must now engage in on local, national, and world stages
- Adding the voice of Montessorians of color to the IMC board of trustees
- Educating ourselves and Montessorians about the work of antiracism in all areas of living and working
- Using our voice as a platform for justice
If you have an interest in contributing your time and talents in any of these vital areas of social justice in the Montessori community, we invite you to step forward. Let us know about yourself and your preferred area(s) of focus and service.
IMC Board of Trustees
Kathy Leitch, Executive Director IMC
Tim Seldin, President, The Montessori Foundation
June 30, 2020