Deepening Our Commitment to Building the Beloved Community

June 2020

by Catherine Maresca

Friends and colleagues, part  of the context of our work is racism. This issue of CCT in Context encourages us to seriously consider how CGS can be a community that puts its shoulder to the wheel of dismantling racism. The four links below may help  us find the connections between our work and racism, deepen our understanding of its pervasiveness in society, and work to end racism in our churches and communities.

Last week Wendy Shenk-Evans of MPPI* published this statement to encourage  the Montessori community to consider its part in the national struggle agains racism. With their commitment to children and the pedagogy of Maria Montessori this community has much in common with the CGS community, in terms of its providers, families served, training model, and reliance on the prepared environment. I encourage you to read this slowly, substituting CGS for Montessori throughout, and consider the role of  CGS in  the landscape of racism in America.

*Wendy Shenk-Evans, former director of Christian Family Montessori School, is now the director of  Montessori Public Policy Initiative – a coalition of Montessori organizations to present a united voice to all levels of government.

This issue of ECHOES was first published in 2007 to acknowledge how we in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd are called to take a close look at the reality of bias and racism in our own atriums and consider how our materials, our introductory events, our courses, our conferences and our community as a whole either contribute to this divide or work to heal it. If we are not part of the solution, we remain part of the problem.

What Color are the Sheep
This Powerpoint presentation by Nora Howell discusses how cultural aspects of materials may impact the children served by Catechesis, particularly if they feel excluded. 

Kristi Medley, a CCT board member and Director of Education at Christian Family Montessori School (CFMS) has given us permission to reprint her annotated list of resources for parents to talk to children about race and racism. We hope that some of the resources listed  will be helpful. Kristi begins:

In the past few weeks, we have been grieving and wrestling with the pain of racism in our country and its devastating daily impact on Black lives. Many of us are feeling deeply compelled to take action. And we have all wondered how to start conversations with our children to help build their understanding of racial injustice…

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