Anti-bias, Antiracist (ABAR) Certificate Program

Anti-bias, Antiracist (ABAR) Certificate Program

The AMS Anti-Bias, Antiracist (ABAR) Certificate Program provides a thorough examination of ABAR education to support Montessori schools and classrooms in creating just and equitable spaces for all. This program responds to Maria Montessori’s mandate that we engage in a systematic study of self.

When: February 6, 2023 (Fall/Winter Cohort 7); see Timeline below for other dates
For: All (Administrators and educators of all program levels and the broader Montessori community)
Facilitated by: Maati Wafford, AMS Director of Equity & Engagement
Format:  A blend of live (synchronous) experiences and on-demand (asynchronous) content
Time Commitment: 12 weeks; 54 – 72 hours total
CPD Hours: 72 - A certificate of AMS Professional Development Hours will be emailed upon completion. An opportunity to purchase a CEU certificate for 7.2 CEUs will also be made available upon completion of the class at a cost of $28.
Cost: $1,300 AMS members | $1,400 non-members


What to Expect

You will join a cohort of up to 30 individuals for a 12-week, 12-module program that includes live experiences in “odd weeks” (week 1, week 3, etc.) and self-guided study in “even weeks” (week 2, week 4, etc.) The times of the live classes will be determined in accordance with the availability of the participants.

Module Topics

  • Unpacking Our Identities
  • Who Am I? Healthy Racial Identity for Students Across All Planes of Development
  • Gender Fluidity, Neurodiversity, and Ableism
  • Speaking Up: Identity Action Mini-Project
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression in Montessori Environments
  • Curriculum Violence: What It Is and How to Stop It
  • Creating Prepared Environments for Equity and Justice
  • Speaking Up: Interruption Mini-Project
  • Advocating for Yourself and Others
  • How to Be an Aspiring Ally
  • Getting Out of the Way: Working for Equity in Montessori Institutions
  • Speaking Up: Allyship and Advocacy Mini-Project


You will develop a solid understanding of ABAR education, engage in transformative discussions, explore the complex nature of anti-bias work, and strive to deepen commitment to liberation and living out the fundamental tenets of Montessori education.

  • Learn basic ABAR terminology and language that is both reaffirming and validating
  • Discover the deeply rooted connections between ABAR education and Montessori philosophy
  • Learn about the goals of ABAR education for both children and adults
  • Deepen your knowledge of culturally responsive instruction and its impact on academic learning and the social emotional health of your students
  • Increase your understanding about the beliefs, assumptions, and observations that shape our experiences in the classroom
  • Develop strategies that enhance bias recognition personally and professionally

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded an AMS ABAR Certificate attesting to your mastery of the program.

  • December 16, 2022 – DEI Scholarship Deadline
  • December 23, 2022 – Program Application Deadline
  • January 9, 2023 – Notification of Program Acceptance, notification of scholarship acceptance
  • February 6, 2023 – Program Begins
  • May 12, 2023 – Program Ends

Class times are determined on a per cohort basis by what works for the majority of the participants.

Timeline for Cohort 8

  • April 7, 2023 – DEI Scholarship Deadline
  • April 14, 2023 – Program Application Deadline
  • May 5, 2023 Scholarship Acceptance Notifications – Notification of Program Acceptance, notification of scholarship acceptance
  • June 5, 2023 – Program Begins
  • September 9, 2023 – Program Ends

Class times are determined on a per cohort basis by what works for the majority of the participants.

About the Facilitator

Maati Wafford

AMS Director of Equity & Engagement

Maati Wafford, MSW, is AMS director of equity & engagement. Prior to her work at AMS, Maati was the race and equity consultant to the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) and Upper Elementary program chair and director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the AMS-accredited Barrie School in Silver Spring, MD. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Administrator).

To Apply

The process begins by completing our formal application. Once the application has been submitted, your character reference will receive an email notification to complete their portion of the application process which includes Character Reference Form. All forms must be submitted by Friday, April 14, 2023.

The applicant may wish to manually send these forms by using the links below.


The AMS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Scholarship Program provides financial support for eligible applicants of the AMS ABAR Certificate Program. Each scholarship covers the cost of the ABAR Certificate Program ($1,400). 

Complete this scholarship application by Friday, April 7, 2023.