Human Rights and Social Justice Committee Updates

August 12, 2021: AMI/USA JEDI Series
AMI/USA is excited to continue learning alongside our community through a series of webinars focusing on issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion through a Montessori lens. 

June 9, 2021: We are seeking 8 additional Human Rights and Social Justice advisors to the committee across all racial, cultural and social backgrounds. Click here to submit your interest form.

February 4, 2021: A New Year, A New Human Rights & Social Justice Narrative for AMI/USA

October 19, 2020: AMI/USA Announces Human Rights & Social Justice Adviser

September 8, 2020: Social Justice Webinar Series AMI/USA is excited to learn alongside our community through a series of four free webinars focusing on issues of race, bias and injustice through a Montessori lens. Listen, learn, share and connect with experts and peers as we work to make Montessori spaces more inclusive and accessible.

July 22, 2020: AMI/USA Announces Human Rights and Social Justice Committee

Equity and Inclusion Resources

Since the inception of its new website, AMI/USA has been continually curating a library of resources for parents and educators on equity and inclusion. We hope that these resources are beneficial to you and are happy to receive suggestions for additional resources to add to our ever-growing library. Please email us with suggested resources to share.

Human Rights and Social Justice (HRSJ) Forum

As AMI/USA moves forward to realize the vision articulated in our Equity Statement in 2021, we invite you to participate in our new Human Rights and Social Justice (HRSJ) forum. This will be an on-going opportunity for all stakeholders to lend their perspectives and voices to our equity work. This forum will be a space for you to constructively raise pertinent issues that can help guide AMI/USA in our justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) goals and participate in the HRSJ Committee meetings. All submissions related to the practices and principles outlined in the Equity Statement will be reviewed by the AMI/USA HRSJ Advisor and the AMI/USA HRSJ Committee.

Click here to make a submission to the Forum.

Make your submission at least one week prior to the earliest scheduled HRSJ Committee meeting.

What Should I Expect After I Make a Submission via the Forum?

  • You will receive a notification that your submission has been received. 
  • Our HRSJ Advisor will respond to your submission within 3-4 business days. The advisor may ask you for additional information.
  • You may be invited to attend a HRSJ Committee meeting and share live with the Committee. If so, details will be forwarded prior to the meeting.
  • After the HRSJ Committee meeting, a formal letter outlining actions and resolutions will indicate closure.

News and Updates

AMI/USA 2023 JEDI Series

2023 Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Webinars

Click here for more information!

We are happy to provide this year’s Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion Series virtually in order to bring the global Montessori community together!

Montessori for All: A Dream Being Realized or One Still Deferred

January 30, 2023 at 7 pm EST

Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream for education was “far grander than integration alone”.  He envisioned education to be quantitatively and qualitatively equitable.  On the cusp of Black History Month, it is the perfect time to explore if his dream has been realized or deferred. Join Montessori Leaders in a discussion on power and privilege in the Montessori community and how it can be used to realize the dream of equity in Montessori school cultures.

Exploring Gender Expansiveness in the Montessori Environment

March 20, 2023 at 7 pm EST

Transgender Visibility Day is on March 31, 2023. As a prelude to this day of recognition, our goal at AMI/USA is to explore gender expansiveness in Montessori settings. Please join us as Sara Bloomberg moderates an open discussion with Olli Lehman, M.A. and Ashley McLean, both Montessori colleagues who are personally and professionally close to this important topic. This conversation will take place via Zoom on March 20th at 7pm EST.

Neurodiversity in the Montessori Environment: A Forum

April 24, 2023 at 7 pm EST

April is Neurodiversity Awareness Month. Join this forum where we will share the process and content of the AMI/USA Statement of Inclusion devised by the AMI/USA Human Rights and Social Justice Ad-Hoc Group on Neurodiversity and Inclusion.

AMI/USA 2022 JEDI Series

2022 Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Webinars

Click here for more information!

Join an AMI/USA sponsored virtual discussion to amplify the diverse and rich histories of Indigenous People. Exploring inspiring stories that come from the source of the culture which we now seek to appreciate and acknowledge can be a foundation for truthful teaching. This will require us to continuously be students with open minds, open hearts, and hold the intentions of being a guest in someone else’s territory. Working with Indigenous communities, we can create purposeful and intentionally structured prepared environments. Sinuda Kapalczynski and Sheri Bishop will guide participants through a conversation that centers important topics from Indigenous land acknowledgements to the Montessori prepared environment, and the prepared classroom cultures that amplify genuine Indigenous narratives.

Koren Clark will share her work that will prompt participants to think about the intersections of our Montessori practice as we journey to create, and sustain, inclusive and racially equitable school and classroom cultures.  She will present the elements of “Liberatory Montessori” and guide a discussion to tease out the nuances between ABAR, JEDI, and Liberatory approaches.

AMI/USA 2021 JEDI Series

2021 Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Webinars

AMI/USA is excited to continue learning alongside our community through a series of webinars focusing on issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion through a Montessori lens. Listen, learn, share and connect with experts and peers as we work to make Montessori spaces more inclusive and accessible. 

To listen to the show, click here to access the archives and select “#UMustLearn” on the dropdown menu!

Thank you to the sponsors: International Montessori Council (IMC)Mountain MontessoriMontessori Educational Programs International (MEPI), and Virginia Montessori Association (VMA)

Thursday, August 19 • 5:00 p.m. EST: Debunking the anti-CRT furor! Speakers: Irene Calis, AU professor speaks as a CRT expert, Jalaya Dunn, Director of Learning for Justice speaks as an educational organizer, Delegate Dr. Pam Queen, MD state Del speaks as an elected official and educator, Julie Johnson, Meadows Montessori School, Head of School, speaks as a school leader, Dr. Cindy Acker, International Montessori Council (IMC) Board member and Director of Social Justice speaks as an educational leader, Alissa McKown and Sheri Bishop of Virginia Montessori Association (VMA) speak as educational leaders.

Thursday, August 19 • 7:00 p.m. EST: Critical Race Theory: Talking through the ConfusionSpeakers: Dr. Valaida (Val)  L. Wise and Wendy Shenk-Evans, Moderated by: Dr. Ayize Sabater & Munir Shivji

Saturday, September 18 • 12:00 p.m. EST: Building Resilient Montessori Schools: A Discussion, Speakers: Hannah Richardson, Rachel Kimboko, Daniel Bissonnette, Moderated by: Elizabeth Slade

Sunday, September 19 • 12:00 p.m. EST: Montessori Books: A Community Conversation, Authors: Mariana Bissonnette, Babies Build Toddlers, Simone Davies & Junnifa Uzodike, The Montessori Baby, Erica Moretti, The Best Weapon for Peace: Maria Montessori, Education, and Children’s Rights, Elizabeth Slade, Montessori in Action: Building Resilient Montessori Schools, Moderated by: Dr. Mira De

Saturday, October 23 • 12:00 p.m. EST: Session with City Garden Montessori, Speakers: Jori Martinez-Woods, Mike Flohr

Sunday, October 24 • 12:00 p.m. EST: Neurodiversity and Disability through the Montessori Lens, Speaker: Andrée Rolfe, Ed.D.

Thank you to those who made a Collaborator donation to this series!

BethAnn Slater, Lynne Breitenstein-Aliberti

AMI/USA Equity Statement Forum

Join us on Wednesday, June 9 at 7pm ET (4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT) as we discuss the AMI/USA Equity Statement that was released in February and serves as our commitment to building a just, equitable, diverse and more inclusive organization.


Online – contact us for details and registration.

AMI/USA Welcomes New Board Members – January 21, 2021

The AMI/USA Board of Directors would like to announce the selection of Dallas Nelson, Jacqui Miller, and Barbara Williams to serve on the Board of Directors. We had a robust response to our call for nominations and these individuals were selected from a pool of excellent candidates.

Dallas, Jacqui and Barbara’s personal strengths, breadth of experience and diverse perspectives strengthen and widen our AMI/USA leadership. Dallas, Jacqui and Barbara are deeply connected to the communities they serve and bring their thoughtful, active and steadfast leadership to AMI/USA at a time great change and transition for our organization.

Please click here to read about Dallas, Jacqui and Barbara below and join us in welcoming them to the AMI/USA board of directors.

Click here to view our Staff and Board profiles.

AMI/USA Supports the Black Montessori Educational Fund

July 3, 2020

AMI/USA is pleased to be among the first major donors to the Black Montessori Educational Fund launched on July 3, 2020 by Mentors of Minorities in Education (M.O.M.I.E.) board member Dr. Ayize Sabater.  The initiative aims to raise one-million dollars to “drastically increase Black exposure, expenditure and expertise around Montessori.”  AMI/USA Board member KaLinda Bass-Barlow spoke at the launch ceremony where the organization made its “Ella Jo Baker – Transforming Systems Pledge.” Please click here to continue reading.

Statement from Board Chair

June 2, 2020

Former AMI/USA Board Chair, Gretchen Hall, issued a statement in relation to current events:

This is an extraordinarily difficult time for our nation. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbury, Breonna Taylor and so many who came before are tragic reminders of the systemic racism and injustice that continues to exist in our culture. We acknowledge the profound grief, pain, anger, and injustice felt across the Black community and in our AMI/USA community. The tragic deaths of our fellow citizens have laid bare racial inequity, challenged our humanity and left us emotionally raw. A call for systemic change is loud and clear, not just in the US, but also around the world.

AMI/USA denounces racism and stands beside all of those who work on behalf of social justice. We recommit to our mission and work to affect meaningful change — to unpack hierarchy, privilege, bias, and structures that benefit certain communities and disadvantage others through our programs and services. We stand unyielding in our commitment to critically interrogate systemic racism and unconscious bias in our organization and in our community. We recognize we have much work to do.

Please click here to continue reading.