Dear AMI/USA Colleagues, Members, Collaborators and Montessorian Community Members At-Large,
Since the first day of the 2020 AMI/USA Refresher Course in Seattle, many of you have been speaking to issues of equity and have called for organizational analysis and transformation. After months of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training received by AMI/USA leaders and after building our foundational anti-bias/anti-racist knowledge, we embarked on the task of formulating an equity statement for publication in October 2020.
There were numerous meetings and after several iterations of the statement, a broad-based group that included representatives from the AMI/USA Montessori Experience, the Executive Director, the members of the Board of Directors, the organizational staff (view Board and staff here), the Human Rights and Social Justice (HRSJ) Committee (view the committee members here), the HRSJ Advisor (Sheri L. Bishop, M.Ed.), and at-large Montessorians, was convened. Rachel Feres, the moderator of the Equity 2020 Group, Cierra Littlejohn and Betsy Romero from Lee Montessori School Public Charter School, and Sinuda Kapalczynski from Fulton Montessori School were very willing participants. This ad-hoc committee reflected who we are as an organization…AMI/USA leaders, school level leaders, guides, public and independent school Montessorians, colleagues working at wealthy schools and those working at schools that charge sliding scale fees. Most importantly, all of us, with our own many diverse identities were able to agree on this one most important value that is now held by AMI/USA…
“We value the lives, lived experiences, contributions, and talents of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) with whom we work and serve and are striving to establish an organizational ethos that prioritizes humanity.”
With this in mind, we as the Executive Director and the Chair of the Board of Directors of Association of Montessori International of the United States (AMI/USA), submit this to you, and to all those with whom we collaborate, our living and forever evolving equity statement.