Professional Development Opportunities

MSM Virtual Spring Speaker Series
The Fierce Urgency of Now: Making Antiracism Real in Montessori Education

Join MSM for the Virtual Spring Speaker Series!

When

March 18 (7-8:30 PM)
April 1 (7-8:30 PM)
April 15 (7-8:30 PM)

Prior to the series, participants will be asked to complete a short pre-survey. Following each session, participants will complete and submit exit tickets, or short reflections that will inform subsequent sessions. Between each session in the series, participants will be assigned short readings, videos, or other media from Black authors and creators.

Where

This is an online event.

Contact

Christina Gasbarro
Montessori Schools of Massachusetts


"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking: it involves thespiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, andthe preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live." - Maria Montessori, Education and Peace

"We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism." - Martin Luther King, Jr., "I Have a Dream"


MSM is enthusiastic and honored to have Francie Latour, co-Founder and co-Director of Wee The People and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Inly School as presenter for our Spring Speaker Series. Francie's vast knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm as a speaker make her a top choice when hosting The Fierce Urgency of Now: Making Antiracism Real in Montessori Education, a three (3) part series. Francie is an educator and children’s book author whose work focuses on race, culture, and identity

A year into the Covid-19 era, the sense of weariness that has settled into our bones, spirits, and minds feels palpable: the sense of loss, the disconnection, the numbness and alarm that run side by side in our collective state of mind.

The toll of Covid-19 invites us to contemplate “the other pandemic,” often referred to as Covid’s twin: the pandemic of racism. Like the virus, racism has brutal, staggering impacts -- impacts that leave us diminished and deeply disconnected from each other and from parts of ourselves, even if we may not understand how. Unlike the virus, racism is not a once-in-a-century event: it was there at the very beginning and it remains a constant, with profound roots and relentless staying power. Racism is our national inheritance, one that each of us participates in either preserving or disrupting through the institutions and systems in which we operate. Historically and today, we know that schools have played a major role in preserving that inheritance. To lift this burden, then, educators must find ways to respond as we have responded to Covid: with the fierce urgency of now.

A three-part workshop series, The Fierce Urgency of Now: Making Antiracism Real in Montessori Education will offer a learning community for participants to engage in vulnerable self-reflection, connect the self to school structures and systems, and develop strategies for concrete antiracist intervention and action.

Meet the Speaker


Francie Latour is an educator and children’s book author whose work focuses on race, culture, and identity. She currently serves as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Inly School, a toddler-8th grade Montessori school in Scituate, Mass.

In 2015, Francie co-founded and now co-directs Wee The People (WTP), a Boston-based social justice project. Wee The People organizes high-impact educational programming for kids, anti-racism workshops for parents and caregivers, and anti-racism professional development training for educators. Wee The People is grounded in the belief that kids have a deep and innate understanding of fairness -- and that adults have a responsibility to connect kids’ sense of fairness to larger issues of injustice in the world.

Through Wee The People, Francie has consulted extensively with White-led institutions to develop anti-racist curriculum and practices. WTP’s clients include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline public libraries; the state library systems for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; and the Boston, Brookline, and Milton public schools.