A Member's Perspective on the Importance of the Montessorians of Color Affinity Group

The Montessorians of Color Affinity Group: A Member’s Perspective of the Importance of Safe Spaces for BIPOC

Dr. Akilah Cadet, founder of Change Cadet, an organization that works to empower Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the workplace reveals the stress, anxiety, and exhaustion that comes from being a Black person in the United States. She says, “Imagine living in a constant state of stress… You advocate for yourself daily as the only Black person in your workplace or social circle… It takes a toll. It’s exhausting to have to prove your worth, your right to live, every single day.”

In order to combat these daily stressors, it is essential that BIPOC have a liberatory context. BIPOC need access to supportive communities that are free from discrimination where positive relationships and advocacy exist.

This is what the American Montessori Society’s Montessorians of Color (MoC) Affinity Group has created. According to MoC Affinity Group member, Courtney Davis, the group is “an intimate community that truly connects with each other.”

Davis shares that she initially discovered the group through an email from AMS during a particularly challenging time in her Montessori career when the racial climax of the country was at an all-time high. In joining the MoC Affinity Group, Davis found a community that understood her and provided deep personal connections.

She and her fellow members meet twice a month on Thursdays to share stories, to empower one another, to advocate for future projects and policies, to laugh, to cry, to vent, and sometimes, to sit in silence and “just be.”

Being a member of the Montessorians of Color Affinity Group has truly made a difference in Davis’ life. It has provided an intentional community for her and her fellow BIPOC. Reflecting on her experience as a member of the group, Davis shares:

To be able to find a group of Montessorians that understand my passion for equitable and accessible Montessori, my emotions towards environments that do not see and recognize me or the families and children that look like me, my hurt when administration does not acknowledge the importance of Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist (ABAR) training and socioeconomic diversity, is rare. This group met my passion, my emotions, and my hurt with love, acceptance, and understanding. They encouraged me to be bold, empowered me to fight for equitable and accessible Montessori education in my city, and motivated me during the process of starting my own Montessori school, Urban Community Montessori, for families underserved and underrepresented in the Birmingham, Alabama Metro.

According to Davis, the benefits of being a member of the MoC Affinity Group are priceless. As a member of the group, she’s found a community that embodies the true spirit of Montessori with members that recognize, appreciate, and empower one another as Montessorians and as individuals.

Davis and her fellow members hope to continue increasing awareness of the group and building the community they’ve developed. She invites and encourages other BIPOC to join the group, stating, “If you are a person of color needing a safe space and a safe group that sees you and appreciates you, the Montessorians of Color Affinity Group is that space and those people!”

AMS Affinity Groups
If you are interested in joining this inspirational community, please register or email AffinityGroups@amshq.org. The group respectfully requests that this space be reserved for people of color.


About the Author

Heather White Montessori Life Blog Author

Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori in-home teacher and nanny, a Montessori educational consultant for the Andrew’s Institute, a Montessori educator for adult learners, and a volunteer moderator for the Montessori at Home 0 – 3 Facebook page. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a School Psychologist intern. She is AMS credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I). Contact her at hpratt@stetson.edu.

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