Anti-Racism Conference for Educators Well Received

Co-chairs of the MLK Education Task Force and organizers of the second “Celebrating All Cape Cod Children: Celebrating the Mosaic Continues” conference for educators, Karen Boujoukos (left) and Angelina Chilaka (right) share a moment during an exciting day with Keynote Speaker Adda Santos Smith.

The conference featured 21 speakers offering 16 workshops.  Below are some photos and highlights of the day:

Julia Johnson (left) and Pat Cruz (right) of the Zion Heritage Museum in Hyannis and Barbara Burgos of the Cape Cod Cape Verdean Museum and Cultural Center were on hand with wonderful displays from their respective museums for educators to peruse.


Adda Santos Smith, Massachusetts History Teacher of 2022 gave the Keynote address, “No, I Don’t Speak Spanish: The Negative Impact of Assumptions and Micro-aggressions”.  It was a moving combination of personal history, consideration of why it is essential to include all voices in historical narratives, and exhortation to teach true & complete history even when it leads to difficult conversations.

Dr. Nancy Cardwell shared her expertise in early childhood education; Krissie Williams, Hope Taylor and Erica Anderson presented on Racial Trauma and Its Impact on BIPOC Children & Teens; Dr. Lorna Andrade, Jim Thomas and Virginia Stone of Martha’s Vineyard shared their recently published book The Guidebook for Young People Studying US Slave Songs; and Edgar Miranda offered the workshop Organizing an Authentic Multicultural Classroom.

Miranda Alves of Cape Cod Voices, presented Daily Practices of an Anti-Racist Educator.  The workshop was so popular it had to be moved to a larger space and was very enthusiastically received and reviewed.

MLK Action Team members Barbara Gibson and Susan Fleming (not in picture) staffed the Team’s giveaway table of gently used books to introduce conference attendees to a wide variety of adult & children’s anti-racism and DEI fiction & nonfiction.  Everyone was encouraged to choose a free book (or books) to take home or to their school.

Lunch allowed time for informal conversation with many of the conference presenters and among participants.  Afternoon sessions included Jeanne Morrison and Sudeen Dwyer (with Chris Morin, not pictured) presenting Active Bystander Intervention; Henri St. Julien, who shared Creating a Beloved Community; Talia Landry of the Wampanoag Education Project taught Native American Intergenerational Trauma in American Public Schools and Tara Vargas Wallace of AmplifyPOC offered her workshop on Micro-Aggressions.

While we are just beginning to read through the evaluations of the conference, we proudly share a couple of comments from two of them:  “I learned so much from the presenters and speaking with other attendees. I can’t wait to share information with my fellow staff members.”  

“This was the best conference in 20 years of public education I ever attended as an ESL teacher! I felt my work with Ell students was appreciated and the work and energy and time put into the presentations and every detail of the day was astounding.”