JEDI Committee

Mission

The Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Committee (JEDI) is a parent-led group who supports the families of the Aidan Community as well as the Faculty and Staff. The JEDI are united to ensure that the Aidan community lives up to and fully-embodies the words of Aidan Montessori’s Statement on Diversity and Equity.

We recommit ourselves to embracing and celebrating our differences—including those of culture, race, ethnicity, religion, age, family structure, sex and sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socioeconomics, learning style, and world view, among others—to form and inform a rich environment that is a crucial to educating our children on their path to maturity and global citizenship.

We unite and collaborate with the Aidan Faculty and Staff to take concrete steps to ensure that all of children are made to feel valued, equal, safe, and included at all times in our community. We stand against all forms of racial injustice, discrimination and harm. We work tirelessly to support the inclusion and empowerment of all within our community. 

Core Values

JEDI acknowledges the differences that exists among us makes us unique. We strive to include, value and embrace the many differences of race, ethnic and socioeconomic background as well as differences of gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and family structures. Our beautifully diverse community creates an enriching environment to the Aidan community.

We honor and value diversity. We believe, as a collective, we must always evaluate our environment to make sure it provides an intellectual, emotional and physical safe-space for our children. We invite parents to share their range of unique perspectives that consists of truth, respect and honor. We are committed to working with Aidan Montessori in effort to provide an anti-bias and inclusive framework in order to truly represent, include, and uplift all of our children. We believe a prepared anti-biased environment is essential in bridging gaps and creating genuine human connections that honor one another.

Get Involved

To join the JEDI Committee or to learn more about how to get involved, please contact JEDI Committee Chairs Kimberly Riofrio and Lynice Williams.

JEDI Events 2018-19

October 2018: How to be an Authentic Ally

Guest Speaker: Jason Biehl

October 30, 2018

We learn racism isn't always a personal experience but often a systemic issue that affects communities as a whole. We learn that because of the intentional design of this country we are often segregated and that segregation prevents us from truly connecting and experiencing the richness of diverse cultures and perspectives. Biehl provides a unique perspective that allows us to self-reflect and understand the value of speaking up and not remaining silent to injustice.

January 2019: How to be an Authentic Ally LGBTQ+

Guest Speaker: Dane Edidi

January 29, 2019 - Time TBA

Dane Edidi is a Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American author, playwright singer, songwriter, choreographer, actress, artist, performer and activist. She is a founding member of Force Collision and is the first Transwoman to be a two-time nominee of the Helen Hayes Award. Edidi founded The Inanna D Initiative, which curates, produces and cultivates events and initiatives designed to center and celebrate the work of TGNC Artist of Color.

In 2015, Edidi received an emerging Leader Award for her work with the D.C. Trans Community and is the LGBT History Project's 2018 recipient of the Mujeres en el Movimiento Arts Award. Dane grew up in Baltimore, Maryland singing jazz and utilizing her art as a tool for healing, revolution and collective liberation since she was a child, giving birth to several art advocacy initiatives.

February 2019: JEDI Potluck

Date & details coming soon! 

April 2019: Racism and Exclusivity

Guest Speaker: Dr. Brittany Pinkney

Date & details coming soon!

May 2019: The Power of Story-Telling

Guest Speaker: Armando Batista

Date & details coming soon!

Resources

Teaching and Learning About American Indians

In this video link below, we learn that according to a national survey, 40% of Americans do not know Indigenous people are still alive. The speakers in this symposium explain the research data on just how potently problematic misinformation on American Indians actually is.

The National Council of Social Studies still perpetuates the manifest destiny narrative that is based on a racist perception that devalues indigenous peoples. K-12 US history curriculum standards and their representation of indigenous people indicate there is a predominantly misinformed and limited inclusion of American Indians both in a pre-1900s context and after that. When we have politicians refusing to recognize sovereign nations we can see that the intention to erase an entire group of people is still a strong racist agenda all across the Americas.

If you are looking for way to familiarize yourself with American Indian history and learn about the direct effects misinformation has on present day communities, please check out this video! You can quite literally skip and play any section and learn something profound and life-changing. A big thank you to the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum and all of the speakers who put this symposium together!

https://www.ustream.tv/channel/1265792

For parents and teachers looking to gather resources with the mission of learning about factual Indigenous History, check out: https://www.reclaimingnativetruth.com/

Talking to Kids About Racism

Book Recommendations for Parents & Teachers

  • Blue City by Ismael Reed 
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privilege Son by Tim Wise
  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  • The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • How Does it Feel to be A Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi

Diversity Posts & News

Join Us at the Book Fair on October 14

We've got all the details about Aidan's upcoming Book Fair at Politics & Prose on Sunday, October 14. Purchase books for the Aidan Library, Bright Beginnings, or stock up your own bookshelves. Afterward, head over to Comet Ping Pong and grab a slice of pizza, all while supporting Aidan Montessori School!

Thanks for a Great JEDI Potluck!

The JEDI Committee hosted its first potluck at the end of May, and is looking forward to continuing to talk about and work for justice, equality, diversity, and inclusion at Aidan after a wonderful evening of food and camaraderie.