“Education is the best weapon for peace.” — Maria Montessori
I grew up in a rather closed community. Everyone pretty much knew everyone else, looked like everyone else, and generally held the same beliefs as everyone else. People who joined the community weren’t truly considered part of that community until many, many years later. It wasn’t until I left the community, that I realized that I was raised to distrust, fear, and even look down upon people who were different than I was. I realize that this wasn’t the intention of the parents, caregivers, and teachers of this community, but it certainly was the outcome. My education had been a narrow one, driven by a white, patriarchal, Christian worldview. I had learned very little about other cultures, belief systems, races, and walks of life. The little I did know came from sources that gave me just enough to generate misunderstanding. Consequently, I feared and misunderstood people who were different than I was. And it wasn’t until later that I realized that where there is fear and misunderstanding, conditions are prime for injustice.
My time in two different colleges, two cross-cultural experiences, and a move to a different area of the United States didn’t change my views much. In fact, I’m incredibly ashamed to admit that peace education didn’t matter to me until our daughter entered our family. And then it did. Because even at the tender age of 2, I saw how her lived experience was different than mine. I spent as much time as I could reading book about racial injustice, soaking in what people of color had to say in Facebook groups, and reading blog posts about representation. Somewhere in that time, I stumbled upon Montessori, and my understanding of peace education grew. (I could go on at length about all that Montessori peace education can encompass, but that would need a post or two of it’s own.) I knew that while, as Maria Montessori said, “[peace] can be brought about by humanity through the child”, I couldn’t be a guide for my daughter unless I first educated myself.
So, when I found Hold the Line, I was thrilled! I immediately purchased their first issue to read and then decide if I wanted to subscribe for the rest of the year. (Spoiler: I’m subscribing to this quarterly periodical for the rest of the year and for the foreseeable future.) There’s so much that I could write about this magazine, but I’ve listed below some of the basics for you.
Where you can find Hold the Line: you can subscribe at htlmagazine.com. You can also follow their Facebook page. This is currently an electronic subscription only, though they do have plans to eventually create hard copies (which I’m very much looking forward to so that my children will have more opportunity to see people who are both like and different from them).
Who Hold the Line is for: This magazine is written for parents. (After all, their tagline is “where parenthood + social justice collide”.) However, I’d venture to say that anyone who cares for, teaches, interacts with or otherwise cares about children would benefit from reading it. In fact, on their FAQs page, they say “Hold the Line has a mission of reading out and learning from a diverse group of people. We make no assumptions as to who has a story to tell that will resonate with our readers or who will best benefit from reading our magazine.”
Content of Hold the Line: The content of the first issue was mostly centered on race and raising children of color through both personal accounts, poetry, and direct action steps. There were no ads, and I appreciated clickable links embedded throughout so that I could view author pages or view suggested reading lists. Future issues promise articles on feminism, LGBT family life, gender norms, food equity and educational equality.
Cost of Hold the Line: A single issue is $10. A yearly subscription for 4 issues (published quarterly) is $35. 10% of their profits is donated to supporting the organizations featured in their magazine.
I haven’t found any other single resource like Hold the Line for continuing my education on how to navigate social justice situations, challenge my prejudices, and become a better guide for peace for my children.