June 2020 America to Me Newsletter
We at MFEE are heartbroken by the recent murder of George Floyd, and the countless unjust deaths of black men and women before him. It is urgent that we all join the fight for racial justice.
We are committed to nurturing racial justice leaders in our own community -- leaders with a common language to talk about how the systematic oppression of people of color shapes every part of our world every single day.
Leaders who can name injustice and act to dismantle it.
Leaders who understand that their humanity and liberation is linked to the humanity and liberation of others and who feel a sense of urgency to dismantle racism in our town and our world.
The America to Me: Real Talk Initiative is MFEE’s effort to seed racial justice leadership within all of us. Using the documentary series America to Me, hundreds of Montclairians are deepening their racial literacy and finding ways to be co-conspirators.
The work is more critical now than ever.
Here are two ways for you to join
the America to Me: Real Talk Montclair initiative.
Sign up for one or both.
Coming Together: America to Me: Real Talk Montclair
Sunday, June 14th 2:30-5pm (This is a virtual event.)
Click here to RSVP for your Free Ticket.
On March 1st, the America to Me: Real Talk Montclair project was launched. Over the past several weeks, over 30 community members participated in online trainings and invited their friends and neighbors to watch and discuss the America to Me film series. Collectively, these Watch Groups have engaged dozens of our community members to deepen their racial literacy and address issues of race, equity, and personal accountability.
On Sunday, June 14th, we will come together to continue developing our individual racial literacy, and to connect what we’ve learned about ourselves to our community.
We are thrilled to announce that this event will feature a conversation with Dr. Bettina Love, award-winning author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. We are also excited to host a panel discussion with series subjects from the America to Me series, including former assistant principal of Oak Park River Forest (OPRF) High School Dr. Chala Holland, teacher Jessica Stovall, and student Jada Buford.
Following the panel, the afternoon will transition to a working meeting, in which Watch Group participants will share and exchange what emerged through the Watch Group Experiences, facilitated by Dr. Tanya Maloney and Dr. Bree Picower, who have been instrumental in designing this program and trained the Watch Group Leaders.
The afternoon will conclude with a collective brainstorming of ideas for action within Montclair schools and community. (You are invited to participate in the whole afternoon, or you may opt to leave when the program transitions from presentation to working meeting.)
Join our Fall 2020 Watch Groups
Be a Watch Group Leader: It’s kinda like being a book club leader - but with a film instead. You’ll participate in 4 trainings with expert facilitators who will prepare you before you start your watch groups, and they’ll provide support along the way. This is an ideal experience for those interested in learning a little more about race and doing/leading a little self-discovery. You choose the people you invite to your group, set your meeting dates and document the group’s learning to share at the closing event.
Join a Watch Group: Or can’t lead a Watch Group, but still want to be part of one? Watch groups meet a minimum of three times to discuss the documentary and issues of racial injustice.
This work is made possible by the generous support of
The initiative was shaped with input from these local
thought partners who participated in a pilot process in
the Spring of 2019
Brother to Brother
Councilwoman Renee Baskerville
Mayor Robert Jackson
Montclair Board of Education
Montclair Community Council for Young Children
Montclair Education Association
Montclair Public Schools Equity Advocate
Montclair Fire Fighters
Montclair Fund for Women
Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation
Montclair Police Department
Montclair PTA Council
Rabbi Ariann Weitzman (Bnai Keshet)
Reverend Elizabeth Campbell (Rising Mount Zion Church)
Sister to Sister
Teachers Undoing Racism Now
Union Congregational Church
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
Who is Dr. Bettina Love?
Dr. Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. Dr. Love is one of the field’s most esteemed educational researchers in the area of Hip Hop education. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice. Her work is also concerned with how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged schools rooted in intersectional social justice for the goal of equitable classrooms.
For her work in the field, in 2016, Dr. Love was named the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She is also the creator of the Hip Hop civics curriculum GET FREE. In April of 2017, Dr. Love participated in a one-on-one public lecture with bell hooks focused on the liberatory education practices of Black and Brown children. In 2018, Georgia’s House of Representatives presented Dr. Love with a resolution for her impact on the field of education.
Dr. Love is a sought-after public speaker on a range of topics, including: antiblackness in schools, Hip Hop education, Black girlhood, queer youth, Hip Hop feminism, art-based education to foster youth civic engagement, and issues of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, she was invited to the White House Research Conference on Girls to discuss her work focused on the lives of Black girls. In addition, she is the inaugural recipient of the Michael F. Adams award (2014) from the University of Georgia. She has also provided commentary for various news outlets including NPR, The Guardian, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
She is the author of We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom and Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South. Her work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including the English Journal, Urban Education, The Urban Review, and Journal of LGBT Youth. In 2017, Dr. Love edited a special issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies focused on the identities, gender performances, and pedagogical practices of Black and Brown lesbian educators.