MRM Diversity Digest 2019

Issue 1

January 2

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

Democracy from the Margins | Ceasar McDowell | TEDxIndianaUniversity. MRM’s DEI Committee viewed this short video at our December 2018 meeting. McDowell talks about movements that reframe ideas and bring connection. He notes that we tend to design for the middle and forget about the margins. But movements say it’s at the margins that we have to concentrate our design. “If we pay attention to the margins and design for them, we actually will cover the middle. [Like a tent,] the further out you stake it, the stronger the structure you get.” People at the margins are living with the failures of the systems and creating adaptive solutions to them. If we design and take care of them, we build stronger systems than everyone. What might designing from the margins look like for our school and community?

Around the Twin Ports

Friday, January 4. 5:30-7:30 PM. Bring Her Home: Stolen Daughters of Turtle Island. American Indian Housing Organization (AICHO) Galleries, Robert W. Powless Cultural Center, 202 W. 2nd St, Duluth. Join us for the traveling Bring Her Home Exhibit’s final stop at AICHO Galleries. Bring Her Home highlights the ongoing epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. In light of the regional movement to stop sexual exploitation and the international #MMIW awareness campaign, Bring Her Home shares visual stories of the impacted women. Emerging curator and artist, Angela Two Stars, brings together these artists to reclaim the identities of missing and murdered indigenous women. Rather than reduce the issue to a statistic, she challenges us to honor the life of each indigenous woman as we would a sister, a wife, a mother, a best friend, a cousin, or a daughter. This event is free and open to the public, with a $10 suggested donation to support the expansion of AICHO’s Emergency Domestic Violence Shelter. Guest speakers TBA.

Tuesday, January 8. 6:00-8:00 PM. ARE Open Mic Night. Zeitgeist, 222 E Superior St, Duluth. The ARE Youth Spoken Word OPEN MIC is a FREE platform for all Twin Ports youths to sharpen their performance skills while having fun with the community at large. It is organized by ARE and seeks to transcend the culture of spoken word in the Twin Ports for all. ARE is focused on encouraging youth voices and defining the culture of spoken word poetry in the Twin Ports. Ages 13 to 19 get first dibs. Contact Daniel Oyinolye,, (952) 201 7352.

Tuesday, January 8. 6:30-8:30 PM. Diversity Book Club. Many Rivers Montessori Cafeteria.

We live in a diverse world. As individuals, how do we engage this diversity? As parents and educators, what values surrounding diversity are we passing on to our children? Can we move beyond merely celebrating diversity, and towards equity and inclusion? Join your fellow MRM community members as we intentionally learn and grow together, engaging these issues in depth. We are currently reading Ijeoma Oluo's So You Want to Talk About Race (a few chapters each month) and then moving on to Jennifer Harvey's Raising White Kids. Questions? Contact

Sunday, January 20. 4:00-6:00 PM. Twin Ports MLK Tribute Interfaith Worship Service. Peace United Church of Christ, 1111 N 11th Ave E, Duluth. Join diverse communities of faith in supporting Dr. King's message. Rev. Tracey Gibson of St. Mark AME Church will lead in this inclusive service, which will bridge this year's local theme of "The Current Crisis" with the Minnesota state-wide theme of "Doing for Others: A Call to Social Action." Some of the highlighted voices will include Dr. Jerel Benton, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity at UWS, the Wayman A.M.E. Men's Chorus, Rickie Defoe - Fond du Lac Ojibwe tribal member and spiritual advisor, Rabbi David Strindberg of Temple Israel, and Henry Banks, Host "People of Color with Henry Banks" WPR radio program. We will break bread and birthday cake together following the service. Any donations collected will go to St. Mark AME church towards accessibility. The service will be interpreted into American Sign Language.

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.

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.

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.


Thursday, January 31. 5:30-7:30 PM. AICHO’s Akawe Nibi Community Pop-up Event. 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.

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.