March 2020 America to Me Newsletter
The America to Me Watch Group Process
is proceeding online!
We are excited to share that the America to Me watch process will continue using online
The March Watch Group Leader trainings will operate as ZOOM meetings with our Montclair
State Professors/Facilitators. You'll be able to continue the learning from the comfort of
your living room.
If you find yourself with a little more time now and would like to join this process for
deepening your racial literacy, sign up to lead a watch group here.
What is expected of Watch Group Leaders?
It’s kinda like being a book club leader - but with a film instead. You’ll participate
in 3 trainings with expert facilitators who will prepare you before you start your watch
groups, and one session to support you 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 (at least 3 in-person
meetings over the 2-month period), and document the group’s learning to share at the
closing event. Watch groups do not begin viewing the films until later this spring, after the
Watch Group Leaders have been trained. Co-leaders are encouraged! Visit our FAQ page
to learn more.
What are the dates of the Watch Group Leader Trainings?
Watch Group Leaders will meet via ZOOM from 6:30 - 9:30pm on:
March 17th (make up for those who didn't attend March 1st launch)
When will the Watch Groups begin viewing the films?
Watch group leaders will have access to the films during their trainings, but we are pushing
back the start of the watch groups to address concerns about the coronavirus.
More about the America to Me: Real Talk Montclair
What is this initiative?
America to Me: Real Talk Montclair is a community-wide, community-led viewing of an acclaimed documentary on education, race, and equity. Using the 10-episode America to Me Documentary series, this initiative will start to build that common language. The community-wide watch will operate like a community read - but with a film instead of a book. We are recruiting Watch Group Leaders who will form their own groups and lead discussions between April and May. WGLs receive training and support from MSU professors. Read more here.
What is the goal?
This is an individual and collective journey to deepen our racial literacy. The goal is to develop a common language about race and equity so that we can talk and hear each other constructively. Words matter. The way we talk about race and racism impacts people and informs our actions.
What is this not?
There are many wounds in our town - old and new - and those wounds will inevitably come up through this process. But this is not a process for resolving specific conflicts or having town hall-type discussions of issues in our community. Those conversations are critical and deserve their own forums. The goal of this process is to equip community members with the language, understanding, and inspiration to design their own ways to disrupt racism.
Why are MFEE and other partners doing this work?
Our children - ALL of our children - are our common interest. Dismantling racism in our schools and in our community is fundamental to their development. And we all have a stake in - and responsibility for - this work.
Who should participate in this process?
Anyone interested in deepening their racial literacy or just curious about what this process will entail. Come with an open mind and heart.
Haven't we been down this road before?
Yes. Dismantling racism requires constant, consistent effort, and we still have a long way to go toward making sustainable change. Our best shot is by admitting that we have work to do, acknowledging when we have caused harm, and authentically committing to doing this together.
How do I sign up? How do I learn more?
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