City Garden Montessori School recognizes that racism and privilege are present in our culture and our school. We recognize the need to:
1. become aware of the manifestations of racism and privilege in our own lives, in the systems we create and support, and in our culture,
2. work as a team to dismantle and reorganize the systems that support racism and privilege,
3. actively support each other and our families to acknowledge, honor, and appreciate differences, and
4. incorporate anti-biased education at every level of our school.
City Garden Montessori School takes a progressive approach to transforming education that holistically critiques and responds to discriminatory policies and practices in education. Our school and our approach to education is grounded in ideals of social justice, education equity, and a dedication to providing educational experiences in which all students reach their full potential as learners and as socially aware and active beings – locally, nationally, and globally. City Garden Montessori acknowledges that schools are essential to laying the foundation for the transformation of society and the elimination of injustice.
The underlying goal of City Garden Montessori School is to affect social change. The pathway toward this goal incorporates three strands of transformation:
1. the transformation of self;
2. the transformation of schools and schooling; and
3. the transformation of our community, city and society.
Anti-Bias/Antiracism education promotes learning about each other’s differences, invites children to be proud of themselves and their families, teaches students to respect and honor difference, recognize bias, and to speak up for what is right. Anti-bias education not only addresses race and ethnicity but also includes gender, language, religious diversity, sexual orientation, physical and mental abilities, and economic class. Anti-bias education takes an active, problem-solving approach that is integrated into all aspects of an existing curriculum and a school’s environment. An anti‐bias curriculum promotes an understanding of social problems and invites students to invent strategies for improving social conditions.
Dear City Garden Community,
Since Black History Month began, our guides and students have been hard at work studying, researching, and exploring the rich, dynamic, and unique history of Black folx in the United States and around the world. Through all four levels and in every classroom, our children have centered equity and highlighted the voices and experiences of Black activists, artists, athletes, business people, educators, entrepreneurs, lawyers, physicians, politicians, professionals, scientists, writers, and so many more, throughout history.
Due to the COVID-19 health pandemic, we are unable to gather in person to present our annual Black History Month Program. However, we are thrilled to present the culmination of this month's work into a five-part, Black History Month Virtual Program video series.
Please click the embedded videos below to watch and peruse our content. The programs are segmented by the content submitted at each level.
City Garden Parents and Guardians,
You are invited to participate in an ABAR program this spring with other City Garden parents and guardians! Please read the information below and register by Friday, March 5th.
James Baldwin writes: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." As a City Garden School community, we have all committed to trying to live into anti-bias / anti-racism values and actions. Over the years many of us have engaged in trainings, practices, and ongoing community conversations about race, racism, and the ways we can interrupt and change the culture at City Garden to live more fully into an anti-racist school.
To continue and go deeper with that work, City Garden is offering two parallel courses focused on delving into our racial identities and the internalized messages we have been socialized to believe, accept, and live out of, despite our best intentions otherwise. We have designed one course for People of Color (POC), called Remembering Liberation and another for white folks, called Unraveling Whiteness. Each course will be a 5 week series via ZOOM that will last approximately 2 hours each week.
These programs will be offered to City Garden Parents/Guardians, and a separate cohort will be offered for Board Members, Committee Members, and Volunteers. The City Garden Staff are going through these parallel courses during the school year as part of their professional development as well.
The Remembering Liberation Course will be facilitated by Dr. April Warren-Grice and Chelsey Carter The Unraveling Whiteness Course will be facilitated by Kara Bender and Laura Horwitz.
• Connect with other parents/guardians
• Understand terms such as, but not limited to, race, racism, oppression, appropriated racism, and liberation
• Explore oppression and liberation in the current climate
• Understand and practice strategies for dealing with appropriated racism and (re)membering healing and wholeness
• Understand how to use the process of liberation
In our Remembering Liberation, racial affinity group meetings, we focus on liberation by asking our central question, “how much more powerful could we be if we (re)membered our wholeness?” We use group meetings to explore, reflect, unpack, engage and transform our “individual” and “collective” racial conditioning, understanding that we have all been influenced by systemic racism and oppression.
This work is designed to be highly personal and provides participants the opportunities to share their experiences and histories, notice and examine habits and impulses, reinterpret meaning, and envision a healthy and liberating racial identity. This work is also designed to be iterative and non-linear which allows individuals to enter at various phases of the cycle, while deepening their practices of self-reflection, interrogating their own beliefs, and transforming their relationship with racial oppression as a tool in the process of liberation.
• Continue to build out the community of anti-racist white folks at City Garden who can support one another in interrupting our patterns.
• To feel a sense of shared accountability and confidence that we as white people can learn to be anti-racist through failure, persistence, and radical humility.
• To help reframe our pain for the world as evidence of our interconnectedness in the web of life, and hence of our power to take part in its healing.
• Connect the dots of our current experiences at City Garden to white supremacy culture
• Leave with a deeper ability to analyze power, and notice and interrupt the patterns of white supremacy behaviors
• Finding seeds of new ways of being that better reflect anti-racist commitment, identity, and nuanced responses, and nurturing those.
• Leave with 2 clear commitments for showing up differently as individuals
The Unraveling Whiteness Course utilizes several modalities to frame our time together. One of those modalities is the Work that Reconnects which includes four main focus areas: Gratitude, Honoring our Pain for the World, Seeing with New/Ancient Eyes, and Going Forth. We will also be working closely with the white supremacy cultural characteristics as they are described by Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones. To get a sense for those, check out this link.
We know that racial identity is multifaceted and if you identify as bi-racial and/or multi-racial it can be especially difficult to choose between a binary option. In this case, we ask that you choose one group for the duration for the series. If you identify as a bi-racial and/or multi-racial person you can feel free to go to either the Person of Color (POC) or white group, whichever one you feel most connected to and want to work with in these moments (which could change in the future). If you identify as a POC, we ask that you attend the POC group, if you identify as white, we ask that you attend the white group.
All of the sessions are from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm CST on the following dates:
• March 10
• March 17
• March 31
• April 7
• April 14
The Bios for the presenters are HERE for Dr. April Warren-Grice and HERE for Chelsey Carter.
All of the sessions are from 6:50 pm - 9:00 pm CST on the following dates:
• March 16th
• March 30th
• April 6th
• April 13th
• April 20th
The Bios for the presenters Kara Bender and Laura Horwitz can be downloaded HERE.