Megan Torres and Janelle Faison stood up to their children’s private Montessori school in 2019 after the director locked herself and Janelle’s four-year-old child in a room the size of a closet.
Prior to this incident, Megan’s 6-year-old son was asked to leave the school mid-year. Megan’s son’s contract was canceled by the Director the same day Megan complained of intimidation and tone policing from a different administrator, a woman of color.
The abrupt timing of this dismissal resulted in the loss of over $50k in state-issued scholarship funds for Megan’s son. Despite Ohio Senator Maharath making a statement to reconsider the scholarship due to concerns of bias, and a former teacher alleging bias, the state agency in charge of the scholarship and finally, governor Mike DeWine denied reconsideration. (It’s worth noting that DeWine’s communication advisor is on the school board of directors and that the Director of the Montessori worked in the past as the Assistant Bureau Chief of the Childcare Division at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the same division charged with investigating the alleged misconduct involving one of the children.)
With the help of local organizers, both mothers held a protest on the first day of school to draw attention to the use of seclusion in schools and tone policing Black women. They rallied a robust antiracist online community using the hashtag #weseeCMEC to highlight unfair and often unconscious bias from white people that cause trauma for Black parents and children at school. Their story was picked up by NPR. Megan’s story used as a case study for unconscious bias at last year’s American Montessori Society national conference by Montessorians for Social Justice.
Their story is a case study for bystanders in what to do (and what not to do) when you find yourself observing blatant injustice.
EbonyJanice is the founder of Black Girl Mixtape, a multi-platform safe think-space, centering the intellectual authority of black women in the form of a lecture series, a podcast, and an online learning institute lead by black women scholars. Learn more at her website www.thefreepeopleproject.com
In this episode, Myisha T from Check Your Privilege joins Jen to discuss the book How To Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming. The book is a must-read for anyone stepping into anti-racism work. Listen in as Jen and Myisha talk about their own experiences in anti-racism conversations and share their takeaways from the book.
An excerpt from the Beacon Press Website sums it up well: “Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance—and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change.”
We are reposting several of our favorite episodes, and this one is from a conversation with Andre Henry.
Andre is a writer and speaker with a passion for racial justice. He writes a weekly email giving practical insight on antiracism and nonviolent social change.
In this episode, Andre joins Jen to talk about the power of everyday people, the importance of doing the work to create the world we want to see, why hope is essential in this movement, and how people can come together to build the world they want to live in.
Join the Hope and Hard Pills Community at andrehenry.co
…Alternatively Titled: “Hello Chelsea, It’s Tina and Jen, Let’s Talk About Your Privilege”
On Friday, September 13th, Chelsea Handler released a documentary on Netflix called “Hello Privilege, It’s Me, Chelsea.” Being the anti-racism educator she is, Tina Strawn decided to check it out, and within days Tina and Jen had watched the documentary two times, talked about it over the phone, and decided to do a podcast discussing it.
If you’ve watched the documentary, plan on watching the documentary, or have absolutely no interest in watching the documentary- this episode is an essential listen as Tina challenges us to greater depth and accountability in the work of dismantling white supremacy and privilege.
Be sure to follow Tina Strawn on IG @tina_strawn_life or email her at email@example.com
Jermaine Fowler is a public educator, historical storyteller, writer, and founder of The Humanity Archive- a media company committed to telling the stories of history in the most compelling way possible.
Much of his work deals with unsettling history and the current reality of today’s world: post-industrial cities stricken by poverty, racism, inadequate healthcare, and educational inequality.
In this episode, Jermaine joins Jen to talk about The Humanity Archive, his passion for bringing history to life, the importance of featuring voices traditionally erased from the past.
Our special guest-host, Corey Leak from Existential Podcast, sat down with Jermaine to talk about what it’s like in Louisville Kentucky surrounding the Breonna Taylor killing.
Myisha T is an awesome and sometimes exhausted mom to 3 different-ability children. She is an anti-racism guide, mental health activist, speaker, and entrepreneur who is passionate about women’s mental wellness and empowerment.
A passionate advocate for mental wellness, Myisha T believes that when people get real, they can begin to heal. She founded the “Check Your Privilege” (CYP) movement, an online community, and a series of workshops that support women all over the world in exploring their relationships with power, privilege, and racism.
A proponent for womxn of color having access to healing she’s co-leads Brown Sisters Speak a mental health peer support and women’s empowerment movement for BBIWoC.
In this episode, Tina is joined by Rebekah Borucki, to talk about her children’s “Big Messy Books” series, the importance of diversity and representation in publishing, and her own experience as a Black Biracial author.
Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, the founder of BEXLIFE® and the BLISSED IN® wellness movement, is a mother of five, author, TV host, meditation and yoga guide, and birth doula. She has taught meditation as a profound act of self-care that can be executed effortlessly and effectively to hundreds of thousands of individuals online and in live workshops and public events. Rebekah’s mission is to make mental-health support and stress-management tools accessible to all. Most recently, Rebekah started her own publishing imprint, Wheat Penny Press, to publish her children’s “Big Messy Books” series.
If you’re like us, you’ve likely signed a petition with Change.org but aren’t quite sure how to organize or start one of your own.
In today’s episode, we talk to two campaigners- Ansa and Rashawn from Change.org to learn about the organization, their roles, what goes on behind the creation of a petition, and how people can better use this as a platform to create change.
Here’s a petition we are encouraging everyone to sign: