Co-Creating Outdoor Spaces for Black Children and What They Want


Co-Creating Outdoor Spaces for Black Children and What They Want

Children playing on trail

The Natural Start Alliance hosted a webinar, How We Play: Co-Creating Outdoor Spaces for Black Children and What They Want, drawing on the extensive research of Dr. Deja Jones, Founder of Honeypot Montessori, and the hands-on expertise of Ashley Causey-Golden, co-founder of Gather Forest School.

Presenters gave a comprehensive overview of co-creating outdoor spaces with Black children, emphasizing empowerment, understanding power dynamics within these environments, and the significance of broadening our conceptualization of nature. We enjoyed a thought-provoking journey exploring the development of inclusive and imaginative outdoor settings.

Below we've shared a recording of the one-hour webinar as well as resources that support culturally responsive and anti-bias education applied in outdoor learning settings. 

View the recording of the webinar 


Deja Jones, Ph.D., Honeypot Montessori

Learn More about Honeypot:

Ashley Causey-Golden, Gather Forest School 

Anti-Bias and Anti-Racist Education Resources:

Curricular Resources:

Children's Books: 

Meet the Presenters

    Dr. Deja Jones, Founder & Educator, Honeypot Montessori

Deja L. Jones, Ph.D. founded Honeypot Montessori, a nature-based Montessori school in the Greater Newark area. She recently completed her doctoral degree and works as an Early Childhood Education Sociologist. Deja has worked in education and youth development within the city of Newark, New Jersey, for a decade in the areas of case management, program coordination, program facilitation, curriculum design, and classroom teaching. She is a member of the NYC Early Childhood Research Network where she is conducting research with Bank Street’s Straus Center for Young Children and Families investigating disparities in NYC preschool program ecologies, equitable referrals, and inclusive practices.

    Ashley Causey-Golden, Afrocentric Montessori & Gather Forest School

Ashley Causey-Golden is the creator of Afrocentric Montessori and co-founder of Gather Forest School. She has been teaching children since she was 18 years old and still remembers the student that led her to change her major from theater and communications to elementary and special education as a freshman in college. Ashley has been in traditional learning spaces (public and charter), progressive learning spaces (Reggio Emilia and Montessori), and African-centered learning environments in her 14 years of teaching. Her work with Afrocentric Montessori and Gather is a mixture of a labor of love and an educational home for her children that will keep their Blackness seen and whole. She wears many hats as an entrepreneur but the ones that stay front in center are mother, wife, teacher, steward, and friend.