March 2020 Newsletter
Join us around the table on Sunday, March 1st
Seeding a Community-Wide Process to Deepen Our Racial Literacy
2pm - 5pm
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
73 South Fullerton
Food and childcare provided
Together we will create brave space. Because there is no such thing as
safe space. We exist in the real world. We all carry scars, and we have all
caused wounds. This space will not be perfect. But it will be our brave
space together. And we will work on it side by side.
We can't have real change on race and equity until we learn how to have real talk - talk that is based on a common understanding of race and racism. Join other members of the Montclair community on Sunday, March 1st for an afternoon of learning, dialogue and discussion - and the launch of the America to Me: Real Talk Montclair initiative.
This event is for anyone curious about their own racial literacy and how it impacts their ability to identify and address racial inequity in our town. Join us on March 1st.
An opportunity to meet and connect with other Montclairians who are curious about their own racial literacy and community conversation
Dr. Lloyd Talley, University of Michigan School of Social Work, will talk about preparing the mind and body for taking on challenging work
Kamillah Knight, MFEE Board member, will share why MFEE and other partners are supporting this project
Bree Picower, Associate Professor, and Tanya Maloney, Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning, Montclair State University, will start us on the path of building a common frame and language for understanding and identifying racism
Vincent Deas, Program Director, New York City Men Teach, will provide insights and inspirations from his work in NYC schools
A jumping off into what comes next - Watch Groups, trainings, and ongoing conversations
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 attend the opening meeting on March 1st?
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
Special thanks to Toni's Kitchen and St. Luke's Episcopal Church for the
food and space for this event!