Black Lives Matter: Our Work
At CMStep, we believe in a more beautiful world: a more just, equitable, peaceful, and sustainable world that works for everyone. In case there was any question or confusion about our beliefs, let us say unequivocally now: BLACK LIVES MATTER. Black lives continue to be negatively impacted by systemic injustice found in every level of our society, just as they have been throughout American history. Education for peace must be rooted in education for justice.
This education for justice, this anti-bias, anti-racist education requires each one of us. At CMStep, we commit to doing and continuing our work. As Layla F. Saad wrote, “We are living in challenging times. There is much work to be done… and if we are all committed to doing the work that is ours to do, we have a chance of creating a world and way of living that are closer to what we all desire for ourselves and for each other” (p.5).
As teachers, we know that we have a particular responsibility to this work: this work of creating schools and classrooms free from oppression. And we know that our program is not, and has never been, free from bias. We acknowledge that continued work is necessary to implement anti-racist practices in our training program, to create spaces for transformation, to reduce and repair harm. Our faculty does not include many Black or Brown instructors, and we recognize this as a disservice to all of our adult learners.
Here is where our work as a training program stands now: all instructors and adult learners at CMStep will continue to unpack our identities, privilege and bias, both personally and collectively, in order to create and sustain anti-racist educational spaces for ourselves, our colleagues, and our adolescents. We will continue to seek Black and Brown partners in our work who can advise and hold us accountable, without tokenizing these precious relationships. We will not look for or expect rewards for our work; we will not be self-congratulatory. While we strive to be allies, we will ask ourselves at each step whether our allyship is real or optical, recognizing also that “allyship is not an identity- it is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups. Allyship is not self-defined” (Saad, p. 125).
We know that until we fully acknowledge and consider the ways that white supremacy has taken deep root in our society, in our very hearts and minds, we will not be able to uproot it. We will actively consider and work against ways our internalized and societal white supremacy has caused harm. We will work to affirm Black lives.
Please contact Katie Keller Wood with any questions about this statement.
Saad, L. F. (2020). Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor. Sourcebooks, Inc..
CMStep Summer 2020 Courses:
Updated May 12, 2020: CMStep will not run any in-person work for the summer of 2020. All enrolled adult learners received an email from Katie on Friday, April 3. Low-residency applicants will continue their work. High residency applicants may defer their start to summer 2021 or join the June low-residency start sections.
Weekly Zoom sessions:
While school closures remain widespread, CMStep will be holding weekly zoom sessions for
secondary Montessori teachers to network, share ideas, and support one another. Reminders will be
posted here and on the CMStep FaceBook page. Zoom links will be sent via Canvas to current adult
learners, or contact us.
Final Zoom sessions of the current school year:
- Wednesday, May 13 at 7pm Eastern
- Wednesday, May 27 at 7pm Eastern
- Google doc of online resources from Williams Montessori in Charlotte, NC
- Editable Google Doc with Ideas for Activities, Books, and Parent Resources. This was started by CMStep faculty and shared widely on Facebook. Folks can add their own ideas and check back to see new entries.
- Arbor Montessori in Decatur, GA shared their Learning At Home Handbook on Facebook
- Learning how to access MOOCs, or 450 Free Online Courses from Ivy League Schools
- How to sign up for free Coursera courses
- Learning to Teach Online, Coursera course from the University of New South Wales
- The Parents Guide to Google Classroom
- Ideas for a home quarantine checklist
- A Reminder to Educators during School Closures