As a learning environment that fosters socially responsible citizens who are lifelong learners and problem solvers, Many Rivers Montessori aspires to be a multicultural community with a welcoming spirit.”—Excerpt from MRM’s Diversity Statement, posted in full on the school’s home page.

The Diversity Digest is brought to you by the MRM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. We are pleased to offer this summary of cultural events, broadcasts and workshops at MRM and around the Twin Ports. Many, but not all, of these listings are child friendly. Use your own judgment to decide what is or is not appropriate for your child. Please email to submit timely events.

MRM’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI) meets the third Tuesday of every month. Our next DEI Committee gathering is January 15 at 6:30 PM. All are welcome! Please email for more info.

On Your Own

Men | Scene on Radio. A podcast from the center for documentary studies at Duke University and distributed by PRX. What’s up with this male-dominated world? How did we get sexism, patriarchy and misogyny in the first place? How can we get better at seeing it, and what can we do about it? Co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee explore those questions and more.

Around the Twin Ports

Tuesday, January 15. 6:30-8:00 PM. Many Rivers Montessori Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. MRM Cafeteria. Join other members of the MRM community in an exploration of DEI, what it means to us personally and for our school.

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Wednesday, January 16. 7:30-9:00 PM. Restorative Justice: From Law and Order to Human Connection. Zeitgeist Teatro Zuccone, 222 E Superior St, Duluth. TED at the Teatro will start off with local innovative singer / songwriter Jacob Mahon. Then, we’ll address a really great topic, restorative justice. We’ll watch the TEDx video called “Forgiveness in the Criminal Justice System.” We’ll then hear a panel of local experts talk about restorative justice, including Ted Lewis, Judge Shaun Floerke & Professor Emily Gaarder. It should prove to be a phenomenal evening.

MRM DEI Committee Members Meredith Cornett and Jennifer Lien will be attending! Email if you are interested.

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Thursday, January 17. 6:00-8:30 PM. Understanding White Privilege. Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2310 E 4th St, Duluth. As part of Churches United in Ministry’s (CHUM's) work to promote justice and equity, we are offering this workshop in partnership with Cultural Fluency Associates. If you've wondered about "privilege" and what it means, and are interested in learning how to talk about it, think about it, and act to promote fairness and equity - this is a great workshop for you. There is no cost for the workshop - but please RSVP by clicking the link under tickets. We'll have a light meal at 6:00 and then the workshop will run from 6:30 - 8:30. Please share this widely as it is an open event for our community.

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Monday, January 21. 7:00-9:00 AM. Twin Ports MLK Tribute Breakfast Program. Coppertop Church, 230 E Skyline Pkwy, Duluth. Free community breakfast and program. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Community Breakfast has been happening in Duluth since 2002. This breakfast is intended to bring the community together to honor Dr. King's life and to work towards fulfilling his vision. At our breakfast program in Duluth, we will have a welcome and blessing given by Pastor Jeanne Alexander, live stream the Minneapolis MLK, Jr. celebration featuring speakers and performers, and a freewill offering for St. Mark AME Church and the MLK Tribute Events. The program is family oriented and food will be served by the African American Men’s Group.

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Monday, January 21. 10:00 AM-12:00 PM. Twin Ports MLK Tribute March. Washington Community Recreation Center, 310 N 1st Ave W, Duluth. March in solidarity, united in the fight against systemic racism and oppression. Gather at 10:00 at Washington Center (corner of 4th St. and Lake Ave.) Free food and hot beverages will be served. Get there in time for your free MLK button! At 10:30, we will go over chants and songs for the march. Then at 10:45am, we will have a few words from our NAACP president. We will march off promptly at 11:00. The route is from Washington Center through downtown to the DECC where our MLK Rally will commence. MRM DEI Committee Members Meredith Cornett and Ethan Perry will be attending. Email meredith.cornett@manyriversmontessori if you are interested.

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Monday, January 21. 12:00-1:30 PM. Twin Ports MLK Rally. Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC), 350 Harbor Drive, Duluth. The Rally’s Theme: The Current Crisis in Race Relations. The Rally will be emceed by Tolu Ekisola and the Keynote Speaker is Me'Lea Connelly. Performers will include Dee VanDassor & Joyce, who will sing the Negro National Anthem, ARE Poets, and Major Attraktion Dance Group. The Drum Major for Peace Awards will be announced and presented and the new NAACP Executive Officers will be installed. There will be children’s activities, a selfie photo booth, vendors, and free MLK buttons while supplies last outside the DECC hall before and shortly after the Rally. This year's theme comes from an article by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., submitted for publication in March 1958. In the full title, “The Current Crisis in Race Relations,” King tells us that the crisis had been affirmed by the reactions of the country to the Supreme Court’s decision to integrate schools. King goes on to explain that the crisis not only exists because of White resistance but because Black people saw themselves as equals, making it impossible to accept the system of segregation. Dr. King also speaks to the theological reasoning for nonviolence and integration. He believed that nonviolence was simply Christianity in action –“passive physically” but “aggressive spiritually.” Nonviolence combats the evil committed by individuals rather than combating the individuals committing evil. King says “ The tension is at bottom between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And if there is a victory it will be a victory, not merely for fifty thousand Negroes, but a victory for justice and the forces of light.” The rally will be interpreted into American Sign Language and recorded for broadcast.

MRM DEI Committee Members Meredith Cornett and Ethan Perry will be attending. Email meredith.cornett@manyriversmontessori if you are interested.

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Tuesday, January 22. 6:00-8:00 PM. ARE Open Mic Night. Zeitgeist Atrium, 222 E Superior St, Duluth. A bi-weekly open mic night, hosted by ARE, for youth in the community to share their poetry, verses, and stories. Any youth in the community are welcome to participate and share. Those who wish to support are more than welcome to attend and help elevate the platform of these amazing individuals.

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Thursday, January 31. 5:30-7:30 PM. AICHO’s Akawe Nibi Community Pop-up Event. Niiwin Indigenous Foods Market , 102 E 4th St, Duluth (formerly 4th Street Market). The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) will host the first in a series of upcoming once-a-month (through September) community pop-up events focused on local and regional Indigenous foods, and cultural food systems. Free and open to the public. The first event, entitled “Akawe Nibi: Water First,” will include hands-on fun cultural, educational, art, music, and Ojibwe language activities where attendees will learn about the Anishinaabe cultural significance regarding the sacredness of water, the health benefits of not drinking sugary beverages, and how to create healthy, delicious, and affordable Indigenous fruit and herb-infused water. Goals of these community pop-up events are to create access to, and increase resources for, Indigenous food systems and healthy foods in Duluth, and incorporate community input into development of new Indigenous corner store/deli/coffee shop in Central Hillside neighborhood of Duluth.

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Friday, February 22. 5:00-8:00 PM. Moments in the Movement. Clyde Iron Works, 2920 W Michigan St, Duluth. Freedom Dinner. Duluth’s NAACP branch is excited to announce our Freedom Fund Dinner, Reception, & Awards Ceremony.

Saturday, March 2. 8:30-11:30. Many Rivers Montessori Diversity Forum with Carl Crawford (City of Duluth Human Rights Officer) and Nam Provost (Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Minneapolis Institute of Art). Many Rivers Montessori Cafeteria. Parents, faculty and staff, board members and students grades 6-8 are strongly encouraged to attend.

March 21-23. 7:30. What She Said: One Act Festival. Underground. The celebration of original one-acts returns for its third year! Written by women all over the world and directed by women from across the Twin Ports, this series of short plays highlights women voices and everything they have to say.

Compiled by Meredith Cornett