Recognizing Juneteenth at the American Montessori Society

June 14, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

This month, the American Montessori Society formally signed the Juneteenth Pledge, making Juneteenth a paid holiday for all employees. My hope is that this intentional time will support staff members in their continual education, reflection, and self-development in matters related to race, social justice, and respect for all cultures.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 the date when—almost 2 and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation—Union troops arrived in Galveston, TX and told the last enslaved Black people in the south that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. Today, Juneteenth marks the oldest nationally celebrated remembrance of the ending of slavery in the United States and the independence of Black people.

The decision to close the office in commemoration of this event is rooted in our strategic priority of inclusion and equity which states: “AMS will model and ensure the advancement of principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion by creating an environment in which all feel welcomed, respected, valued, and empowered.

As we pause to celebrate Juneteenth, we recognize that our work in the movement for racial justice is far from over.

Author and activist Angela Davis recognizes Juneteenth as, “The day we celebrate the end of slavery, the day we memorialize those who offered us hope for the future, and the day when we renew our commitment to the struggle for freedom.

It is with her words front of mind that we at the American Montessori Society restate our dedication toward a more fair, just, and free society for all. Please spend time reviewing the resources provided below to learn more about Juneteenth and renew your personal commitment to a more equitable world.


Munir Shivji

AMS Executive Director

Additional anti-bias, antiracist resources