Dear AMI/USA Colleagues, Members, Collaborators and 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, members of the Board of Directors and organizational staff (view Board and staff here), the Human Rights and Social Justice (HRSJ) Committee (view committee members here), the HRSJ Advisor (Sheri L. Bishop, M.Ed.), and at-large Montessorians was convened. Rachel Feres, moderator of Equity 2020 Group, Cierra Littlejohn and Betsy Romero from Lee Montessori Public Charter School, and Sinuda Kapalczynski from Fulton Montessori School were willing participants. This ad-hoc committee reflected who we are as an organization, AMI/USA leaders, school level leaders, guides, public and independent 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 strive 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 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.
Ayize Sabater, Ed.D. Mary Levy
AMI/USA Executive Director Chair, AMI/USA Board of Directors