The 2022 JEDI Series

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

As our 2020 Racial Equity Statement declares, “We acknowledge that building and maintaining an inclusive, racially equitable culture will be never-ending and that ever-lasting transformation requires courage, persistence, unwavering commitment, and individual and collective accountability.  We encourage all members, especially those that identify as an ally, social justice activist, anti-bias/anti-racist educator, social justice healer and/or an artistic and creative storyteller, to lift your voices and together let us all participate in this transformational journey.  “Today an urgent need imposes itself upon society: the reconstruction of methods in education and instruction, and [they] who fight for this cause, fights for human regeneration.”(Montessori, 2014)

Indigenizing Montessori Through Personal Reflection and Intentional Preparation

At AMI/USA we are intentional about how we hold space for our collective work. We recognize that we are on Indigenous land and give gratitude for the original stewards of the land.

November is Native American Heritage Month. It is a celebratory time to acknowledge the unique contributions made by Indigenous Peoples. Yet sadly, cultural erasure is still a reality. This month offers an opportunity to remember the entirety of our nation’s history — including and especially Native American history, the systemic issues still faced today, and the supportive, uplifting action non-Indigenous people can take to right historical wrongs. In defiance of this erasure, it is imperative for educators to educate in a way that highlights and affirms the Indigenous lives, culture and tradition prior to what is now America. It will also serve us well to honor their current and active presence in the struggle to reclaim sacred lands and rightful place in this nation.

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.

Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 7pm EDT: Online

Location: Zoom

Registration:  AMI/USA is pleased to offer webinars at little to no cost for participants.  In support of Native American Heritage Month, we highly encourage participants to make an online donation upon registration, during or after the event.  A portion of the proceeds will go to support the work of First Nations Development Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities.”

Sinuda Kapalczynski, M.Ed.
Sinuda graduated from St. Catherine’s University with a Primary certification and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.  She is an experienced Primary guide, writer, mother, environmental scientist, and the Director at Fulton Montessori School in Richmond, VA.  She is passionate and committed to Dr. Montessori’s method.  She enjoys working in service, sparking interest in those she meets, and motivating people in Virginia as they strive to shift towards greater inclusion, equity-based programming, and cohesion between the Montessori Method and state learning standards.  Sinuda also serves on the Virginia Montessori Association (VMA) Board of Directors.  She is a member of the Akwesasne Nation in territory now called New York and Canada and has Cherokee, Armenian and African American heritage.

Sheri L. Bishop, M.Ed.
Sheri holds AMI Primary and Elementary diplomas and a master’s degree in Montessori Elementary Education from Loyola University, Baltimore.  After being a Montessori mother, Elementary classroom assistant for two years, and an Elementary guide for six years, she began her work as the AMI/USA Human Rights and Social Justice Advisor and the Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist Consultant for the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT).  Sheri serves on the Virginia Montessori Association (VMA) Board of Directors and as an Advisor for the Black Montessori Education Fund Foundation (BMEF).  She loves working and collaborating with many diverse groups of Montessorians to face the challenges of this difficult but rewarding work.  She is certain that she will always be stepping out of a social justice/ABAR epiphany, be amid enlightenment, or seeking to find understanding and, as stated by Angela Davis, “…work to change the things we cannot accept” in the Montessori world.

Liberatory Montessori with Koren Clark, M.Ed.

  • Monday, November 21, 2022, 7:00 p.m. EDT: Online
  • Monday, December 5, 2022, 7:00 p.m. EDT:  Online

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. 

Meet the Presenter

Koren Clark, M.Ed. (she, her, hers) is an Oakland, California native.  She has over 25 years of experience in the field of education.  She is a writer, a speaker, Montessori-trained guide, coach, and a liberatory design strategist who explores ways Montessori can be of service to Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist, spiritual and liberatory practices.  Koren holds an AMS Elementary I credential, an Administrator credential from New Leaders, and California state-teaching certification.  She describes herself as “a human here to humanize” and believes in the power of transformational activism through education. Koren is also CEO/Founder of 

KnowThySelf Inc., a business that offers culturally relevant Montessori materials designed to meet the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of children of all children.