“The opposite of racist isn't 'not racist.' It is 'anti-racist.' What's the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist.”
Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist
We call for justice for the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless less-publicized victims of police brutality and white vigilantes. Our hearts break with, yet not the same as, our Black families, colleagues, and community.
To communities grieving the continued inexplicable loss of lives, we extend our outrage, partner in protest, and commit to courage over comfort. We are saddened and angered by the continued violence against Black bodies. We denounce the historic, present, and continued blatant disregard for Black lives. We call for justice, accountability, acknowledgment, and restitution, which includes reforms to prevent all forms of racism and violence against all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Throughout past two weeks, we have all been called to (again) deeply examine the racial inequities in our city, throughout our state, and across our nation. The MNMN Board of Directors has heeded that call, including observing, listening, and further understanding the racial inequities within the Montessori community.
The Minnesota Montessori Network is committed to courageous and uncomfortable changes to address racial inequities in our communities and our schools.
We recognize we can do much more to live this commitment in and through this organization.
- We offer gratitude to the Black, Indigenous and People of Color members in the MN Montessori community who continue to engage, strive for voice and brave safe space, and offer extraordinary (unearned and disregarded) grace to this white dominated and centered community.
- We pledge to engage in rebuilding our broken MN education system by supporting the MN Montessori community’s listening, learning, allying with, and lifting up our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) families, students, and colleagues.
- We call on all MN Montessorians to become a community of committed Anti-Racist educators. We will scaffold the building of a Montessori education system and community in Minnesota that is Anti-Racist and provides brave safe spaces for teachers, families, and students of color, especially Black and Indigenous people.
- We commit ourselves and hold the MN Montessori community accountable to not merely understanding the impact of our racial identities on our way of being and current systemic issues, but also actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and inequity in and through education in the state of Minnesota.
Our work has only begun, and has no finish line. We will stay curious, courageous, and uncomfortable. We will maintain momentum. We will measure and report progress.
Emotional discomfort is key in recognizing our motivation for social action and justice, and of calling into question our beliefs, values, and views. We ask our community to get curious right now: seek knowledge and strategies to become more critical of pervasive, dominant ideologies, and oppressive structures. We call you, as Minnesota Montessorians, to join in the courageous and uncomfortable work of dismantling racism and ensuring the Montessori educational system is a brave and safe space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Specifically, we call those Montessorians who identify as white to join us as we:
- Examine and acknowledge our white privilege and complacency
- Evaluate how we use our whiteness as weapons, including white centering, white silence, and white fragility.
- Recognize the impact our biased and racist mindset and actions have on the children we serve
You will continue to hear from us consistently as the MNMN board embarks on work that is long past due. We welcome feedback, engagement, and being held accountable.
We'll be guided by BIPOC experts to:
Currently in progress:
Curious about some terms you read? Check out this Racial Equity Tools Glossary!