EJI Director Parent Education Series (PEd.S) Initiative 2021-2022

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We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are
connected with each other to form one whole unity.

-Maria Montessori

During my first year as the Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (EJI) Director, I focused on working
with the teachers and staff who have direct contact with the students. Different members of our
community expressed appreciation for my work and asked how they could further support
anti-bias and anti-racism efforts. A couple of years ago, the school hosted a parent education
series, and we are now ready to provide more opportunities for this type of learning. We will
need to have a minimum number of people interested to make these events possible, both in
terms of the speaker/facilitator’s time and to have enough voices in the mix to further our
experiences and learning. We encourage you to get involved in these critical learning

Anti-Bias and Anti-Racism Education for Families: Why?

This series explores the multiple layers of identities in the HMS parent community to understand
how individual and collective bias impacts and marginalizes people’s experiences. In a world
that is rapidly being co-opted by violence and visual and verbal desensitization, our young
people are the most vulnerable. It is in this context that understanding how to open ourselves to
uncomfortable and hard conversations is urgent. This is a biweekly series for HMS parents and
caregivers. These will be offered the first and third Wednesday of each month during the
2021-22 school year from 6:30 to 7:30pm via Zoom. In addition, we hope to set up in-person
meetings to create more dynamic and intimate dialogues as the year moves along. Please click
here to register.

Creating a space where we all can feel open, safe, respected, and appreciated when sharing
ideas, thoughts, and concerns is of utmost importance for this Parent Education Series (PEd.S).
Conversations about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ableism, class, and ethnic
discrimination are happening more and more in our society bringing awareness to our common
actions. This PEd.S attempts to be a safe and supportive place to know, listen, speak, learn,
and share as a community, a place where we can all contribute, agree or disagree with
acceptance and respect of our diversities and identities, a place that can provide new
perspectives and commitments.

Not all of us are in the same spot on this journey and some of us feel we don’t have the tools to
start or jump into these difficult conversations. We want you to come as you are, with an open
heart and a willingness to learn. We know that this type of work is not sustainable unless it’s
done in and among the community. Creating a strong, equitable, just, and inclusive society
requires community effort for working together as a community, and with the community. This
means that we will be constantly learning from each other.

We believe that having these conversations with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other
community members is vital for the guidance of our young generations and the construction of a
safer, critical, and just society. In other words, it is an invitation to our HMS adults to start taking
action against climate change; racial, gender, and religious inequities; and social injustice. But
the only way we can do this is to further educate ourselves on these subjects, to be aware and
vulnerable in a way that makes meaningful change possible.

Hilltop’s EJI Director Marco Yunga Tacuri will be the coordinator and facilitator on the PEd.S,
with the support of the newly named “EJI Accountability and Support Coalition” team members
Elizabeth Fisher, Caitlin Senni, Lysa Mosca, Kegan Refalo, Larisa Volkavichyute, Tamara
Mount, and Asher Pucciarello. Each session will have a different speaker (parent, teacher,
and/or administrator) from in and out of our school community with the intention of bringing in
multiple perspectives and voices.

Check the overall syllabus here: EJI-PEd.S
And the syllabus for Session 1

Yupaichani / Gracias / Thank You,
Marco Yunga Tacuri (he, him, his)
Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Director