Learning Circles on Race
Racial equity is essential to our schools and impacts every aspect of our community. MFEE is privileged to look at ways to address inequity in our schools as part of a community with a long and vibrant history of activism. In March 2020, MFEE launched a new program to support community conversations about equity, education, and Montclair: Learning Circles on Race , and sees the Learning Circles on Race as part of a collective effort to engage all Montclairians towards improving racial equity in our schools. . The program aims to provide a personal and structured opportunity for Montclairians to develop a shared vocabulary of racial literacy and apply a racial justice lens to personal, individual and collective experiences - including the experiences of our students, teachers, and families in Montclair Public Schools. MFEE believes that by supporting individual and small group conversations about racial equity within our community, folks will feel more prepared to engage in and advocate for systemic improvements to our schools.
There have been four cycles of the program since its launch. In each cycle, a small number of community members are trained using a curriculum designed for MFEE. The Facilitators aren't experts, academics, or have special prior knowledge about race and equity. They are community members who are willing to lend their time, energy, and action to seed real change that comes from personal learning, reflection, and conversation. MFEE and the Facilitators then recruit folks to join a Learning Circle of 6-10 community members. Each Learning Circle meets several times over the course of two months, using a curriculum designed for the Learning Circles. Since the launch in March 2020, over 900 people have participated in the program through events, trainings, and Learning Circles. MFEE has also worked with other school districts and private schools to help them develop and sustain Learning Circles for their communities.