Peace & Social Justice Resources

Resources you can count on to inspire and inform your creation of peaceful school culture.

We hope you will find the following resources helpful as you work toward creating and promoting a culture of compassion and kindness in the world—and in yourself.

For Your Classroom

  • The International Day of Peace, observed every year on September 21, is an initiative of the United Nations devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Keep up with each year’s theme for inspiration to mobilize your students to take part. 
  • March for Peace” is an original song, dedicated to Dr. Maria Montessori, by Montessori music specialist and steel band director, Frank Leto. He encourages you to sing it with your students on the International Day of Peace—and throughout the year, too. You can find the lyrics here.
  • Sing Peace Around the World invites Montessori students from around the world to sing “Light a Candle for Peace” on the International Day of Peace. You can sign up to show your support (it’s free). 
  • Sky Day Project is a worldwide “green classroom” that uses citizen science and art to promote global citizenship. 
  • The Peace Crane Project invites students ages 5 – 18 to submit original designs for an official, limited-edition T-shirts, which promote peace around the world.

Keeping Current

Stay abreast of headlines as they happen—and also read more ruminative pieces—with these peace- and social-justice-related news sources:

  • The Chronicle of Social Change is a daily news publication devoted to issues affecting youth involved in child welfare and juvenile justice and the larger youth services field. 
  • Race/Related is a free newsletter providing a deep and provocative exploration of race with New York Times.
  • Social Justice Solutions explores news, topics, and issues about social justice in today’s world.
  • UN Web TV provides live coverage of select United Nations meetings as well as prerecorded video features and documentaries on global initiatives. There is also a dedicated channel featuring NGO meetings, both live and on-demand.

Children’s Book Lists

These lists of children’s books, compiled by a variety of sources, have themes that aim to reflect, accurately, the many people, cultures, and traditions of our world; help dispel myths and biases; and promote peace and understanding.

Children's Books

“A book in a child’s hand forms understandings of people and places near and far, making the foreign familiar, differences interesting and universal.” – Kathy Carey, Co-Editor, Montessori Life

Books for Peace: An Annotated Bibliography
Books for Peace

Grants & Awards

If you are working on a project that promotes peace and/or social justice, whether alone or as part of an organization, you may be eligible for funding support from AMS.

AMS Ursula Thrush Peace Seed Grant

The AMS Peace & Social Justice Committee awards annual Peace Seed Grants to help fund projects that promote peace education. The grants are presented in memory of educator Ursula Thrush (1930 – 2002), whose dedication to the concept of peace through children inspired many to advance peace education in their classrooms and communities. Among her many accomplishments, Ursula founded the Maria Montessori School of the Golden Gate and Maria Montessori Teacher Training Center, both in San Francisco, CA; and helped to establish The Science of Peace Task Force and Montessori Peace Academy.

Applying for a Peace Seed Grant

Applications for 2021 Peace Seed Grants will be available Fall 2020.

The successful applicant will:

  • have experience in a Montessori environment;
  • clearly articulate how the funds would be used;
  • agree to share a report about the project upon completion of the work.

The proposed project should be designed to:

  • further peace education;
  • reach a significant number of children and/or educators;
  • accomplish its goals in the year following receipt of the grant.

AMS Peace Seed Grants are financed through donations to the AMS Peace Fund. We are grateful to Lesley Nan Haberman and The Family School in New York City for their generous support of Peace Seed Grants throughout the years.

Other Grants & Awards

The Carl Koch Foundation offers grants that support scholars in pursuing ideas and research that will have an impact on societal well-being.

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award recognizes children’s books that address how people of all races, cultures, nations, and economic systems can live peacefully together, and how can we think more creatively and humanely about injustice and conflict.

The Peace Development Fund makes grants to organizations and projects working to achieve peaceful, just, and equitable relationships among people and nations.

PEACE Grants from the Mind & Life Institute support research on novel interdisciplinary approaches for investigating and nurturing wholesome mental qualities related to Prosociality, Empathy, Altruism, Compassion, and Ethics (PEACE).

Resist is a non-profit organization that offers grants for projects that support justice, liberation, and resisting systemic oppression through grassroots/cultural organizing, art-making and resilience. building.

The United States Institute of Peace awards grants that support peace-building projects managed by non-profit organizations including educational institutions, research institutions, and civil-society organizations.

Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children's Literature recognize authors (or co-authors) whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way.

In Dr. Montessori's Words

Three times nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Maria Montessori was a highly prolific writer on the topic of peace and justice. Here are some quotes from some of her best-known books.

“This force that we call love is the greatest energy of the universe.” —The Absorbent Mind

“…education is the best weapon for peace.” —Education and Peace

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” —Education and Peace

“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” —Education and Peace

 “Peace is a practical principle of human civilisation and social organisation that is based on the very nature of man. Peace does not enslave him; rather, it exalts him.... And because it is based on man’s nature, it a constant, a universal principle that applies to all human beings. This principle must be our guide in building a science of peace and educating men for peace.” —Education and Peace

True peace…suggests the triumph of justice and love among men; it reveals the existence of a better world where harmony reigns. —Education and Peace