What has gotten you thinking lately? 

Are there articles, websites, videos, books, or organizations that have helped you to think differently about issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity?  Or ideas that you have come across and realized were a blind spot you had never even considered before? This week, I am hoping to turn this section of the newsletter on its head and ask you, the readers, if you have any resources to share?  One of the things that drew our family to TNSM is the Montessori focus on peer learning and the openness to learning as a community.  Especially after these times where our in-person …

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Diversity of all kinds in farming is best for our world!

Article written by Rachel Lwin, Diversity and Community Engagement  (D+CE) Committee Member As we come to the end of February and head into my personal favorite time of year, gardening season, I have been thinking about those people who have and are still working to shape a more resilient approach to agriculture. Unequal access to fresh food persists, especially for people of color. The Great Migration of African Americans out of the Southern states into urban centers of the North cut off access to farmable land. That, coupled with decades of discriminatory loan practices and uneven treatment by the USDA …

Mark your calendars for Wednesday evening, February 23rd from 7:00-8:30pm!

In March 2021, the Diversity + Community Engagement committee (D+CE) hosted a conversation open to the whole TNSM community that focused on what it means to strive for racial literacy. We watched an inspiring TED Talk given by two young women, Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo, who spent their senior year in high school trying to understand how teachers and parents can close the gap in racial education. We then participated in a guided conversation and reflection around these themes and topics.  Reflecting back on our virtual gathering, a few thoughts and memories bubble up: The sense of community and connectedness …

The Enneagram, Education, Power, Anti-Racism: How My Daughter Brought It All Together for Me

Essay written by Claudia López, TNSM parent and chair of the Diversity and Community Engagement Committee One of my coaching practice pillars is the Enneagram, a scientifically validated system with ancient roots widely used for self-awareness and personal growth.  The Enneagram comes with me wherever I go. While I’m not trying to label and put people in boxes, I am sensitive to the energy of Enneatype and how it manifests in everyday interactions and decisions. Victoria, my daughter, has extensively heard me talk about the Enneagram, but we haven’t had a formal conversation to type her.  Yesterday, she was doing …

The importance of a capital letter

Essay written by TNSM Communications Director, Ann Baumgardner I’m one of those people who listens to the podcast Grammar Girl for fun and isn’t mad if I receive a grammar book for Christmas or birthday. I find language fascinating and like to know my “lie from my lay” and always try to have my verbs in perfect agreement. However, I am still learning and feel mortification and shame each time I make a mistake.  As TNSM’s director of communication, I write an article for North Avondale’s local newspaper each month about our school. One day I informed my family they …

Moving mountains takes all kinds of support – The role of Coretta Scott King in advancing civil rights

Essay written by Rachel Lwin, member of the Diversity + Community Engagement Committee Last week, TNSM parent and DC+E member Allie Precht commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. and discussed the way his life, work, and legacy are taught to students past and present. It got me thinking about the man himself and the Civil Rights Movement of course, but also his wife and civil rights activist, Coretta Scott King. Hers is a name that has rolled off my tongue countless times in my former work as a librarian because she has a family of book awards named after her. The …

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Essay written by Allie Blocksom Precht, member of Diversity + Community Engagement Committee I often (guiltily & too simply) tie Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with his profound quotes and excerpts from his memorable “I have a dream” speech delivered at the March on Washington at our nation’s capital. I recognize this merely condenses his work, impact and memory to a video clip–words on a page or Instagram post where there deserves to be so much more.  There is work I need to do to educate myself about the history of the civil rights movement which includes the work …

Why Am I Repelled by Mindfulness: It’s Not What You Might Think

“Simply said, you make soul by living life, not by retreating from the world into ‘inner work’ or beyond the world in spiritual disciplines and meditation removes …. [but rather by leaving behind] the Cartesian split between inner and outer—good soul inside and the world, the flesh, and the devil outside ….”                                                                            —James Hillman, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy—and the World’s …

Learning more about Kwanzaa

Article written by Portia Dyrenforth, TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement Committee member This year I decided it was time to update my very cursory knowledge of Kwanzaa. I remember learning about it during elementary school when a parent gave a presentation to our class, but to be honest, I don’t know much beyond the very basics. After spending some time down an internet-rabbit hole, I know a little bit more and have a lot left to learn. In the spirit of this busy time of year and incremental learning, I wanted to share two short video clips that …

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Jewish Festival of Lights speaks to a universal truth about light 

Essay written by Hope Mille (TNSM parent and Diversity and Community Engagement member) As I write this, it’s the first day of December and the third day of Hanukkah. It’s the time of year when I bemoan the fading light. Although I don’t observe Hanukkah, I appreciate the miracle of the light. (Well, technically, the oil was the miracle.)  Syrians took control of Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE, persecuted the Jewish people, and desecrated the Second Temple. After regaining control of Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt, Jewish people rededicated the Second Temple by lighting a candelabra. While there was only enough …