MLK Action

Mission Statement

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Action Team is the racial justice arm of the Nauset Interfaith Association (NIA) working in partnership with the people of Cape Cod. Our mission is to address systemic racial injustice by educating ourselves and others and building transformative relationships. Through conversations that raise awareness, community organizing, cultural events, and educational programs, we move toward more deeply integrated, racially diverse communities on Cape Cod.

New & Exciting…

Here we’ll post news & activities that the MLK Action Team wants to share with our neighbors

Open Eyes Travel – posting photos from travel that opens our eyes to a more inclusive US History. (Open any post by clicking on blue “name”, which will also give you access to earlier posts from the whole trip)

Albert Einstein’s quote, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know” has become my personal mantra as I try to develop a fuller, more inclusive understanding of the United States, both historically and contemporaneously.  Travel can be a wonderful conduit to helping us reflect on histories, cultures, events, ideas, people & places we have never considered before.   I will be using this space to share travel experiences that have helped me broaden my understanding of the contributions of persons of color to our US history, starting with my own Civil Rights Road trip.

View MLK Action Team Public Service Announcement with Lower Cape TV here:

Congratulations Action Team member, Jeanne Morrison in recognition of her outstanding volunteer contributions by the MA Black and Latino Legislative Caucus during the Black Excellence on the Hill awards ceremony.  See photos of Jeanne with her mother, Mary Morrison at the award ceremony and with the full complement of awardees and the legislators who nominated them – See Photo Gallery 

Barnstable High School Celebrates Black History Month – See Photo Gallery

Wonderful artwork and written messages from the annual “Embracing Our Differences” exhibit several MLK team members visited in Sarasota, Florida. Especially poignant was quote from 6th grader Tyler M. “I can’t wait for a world where the color of my skin doesn’t determine how much love I will get.” – See Photo Gallery

Upcoming Events

2023 Health Equity Symposium

Special Events

The MLK Action Team in partnership with Wellfleet Historical Society and advised by Aquinnah Wampanoag educator, Linda Coombs, have created a schedule of events to bring the history, contemporary stories and culture of the Wampanoag Tribes to members of the Lower and Outer Cape communities:

June 3, “Building Relationship, Building Equity.” Walk with Marcus Hendricks to Wellfleet’s First Meeting House and what’s known as the “Indian Burial Ground” Join Native Wampanoag/Nipmuc Marcus Hendricks on a walk exploring the land of the First People of Wellfleet. The walk includes a visit to the harbor and First Meeting House area. Marcus will discuss how thousands of years ago the First People developed sustainable lifeways within the marsh, bay, and tidal flats we now call Wellfleet. He will also tell of the Strawberry Moon and its cultural significance to Native People. It is free but registration is necessary via Eventbrite. This series is supported by a grant from MA Humanities with funding from the MASS Cultural Council.

June 8, The Way of Wampum with Linda Coombs at 6 pm at the Eastham Public Library. A Wampum Pendant Workshop with Darius Coombs following the talk. Participation in the workshop is limited (pre-registration is recommended by emailing your name to: [email protected]). This series is supported by a grant from MA Humanities with funding from the MASS Cultural Council. 

– June 13, Journeys in the Light (film & discussion with filmmaker and sponsor members)  This is a collaborative event by the Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP and the Zion Union Heritage Museum.   (Each showing is in a different location: please note time and place). Wellfleet Library, 7 pm.  Free

– June 16, Journeys in the Light (film & discussion with filmmaker and sponsor members). This is a collaborative event by the Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP and the Zion Union Heritage Museum.  Cape Cod Museum of Art, 1 pm.  Free with paid museum admission.

– June 17, Journeys in the Light (film and discussion with filmmaker and sponsor members).  This is a collaborative event by the Cape Cod Branch of the NAACP and the Zion Union Heritage Museum.  Provincetown UU Meeting House.

– July 11, We Still Live Here (film & discussion) at 6 pm at The Chapel in the Pines, Eastham with Linda Coombs.

August 3, Mashpee Nine (film & discussion) at the Wellfleet Library with Paula Peters.

Please watch this web page or that of Wellfleet Preservation Hall for later “Building Relationships, Building Equity” presentations and dates.

In July: The MLK Education Task Force will be hosting it’s second anti-racism conference free to all Cape Cod educators on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.   “Educating All Cape Cod Children: Celebrating the Mosaic Continues registration is through the Cape Cod Collaborative website under Professional Development or with this link: .

NOW AVAILABLE: Celebrating the Mosaic: Sites of Historic and Cultural Significance for the Many People Who Call ( & Have Called) Cape Cod Home, a fun, self-paced, (virtual or in person) educational scavenger hunt activity for people of all ages.  PDF LINK

Past Special Events

Jeanne Morrison, MLK Action Team Member

Jeanne Morrison, MLK Action Team Member

Jeanne Morrison, MLK Action Team member wears many social and racial justice hats – she is co-president of the League of Women Voters Cape Cod, and an active member of the Barnstable Human Rights Commission and Barnstable No Place for Hate.  To recognize and honor...

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Film Viewing and Panel Discussion

Film Viewing and Panel Discussion

The MLK Action Team and other Cape Cod racial justice organizations hosted a showing of film “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America”. (This film is highly recommended to anyone who wants to understand issues of racism in the US). It was followed by a panel...

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Open Eyes Travel Blog

Share Your Travel

If in your travels you experience a place or event you think would interest other racial justice advocates, send a photo with a brief explanation and perhaps we'll post it on the website's "Open Eyes Travel".  The email address is [email protected].

Some Favorites that Didn’t Fit in Earlier Posts

From the National Civil Rights Museum of Memphis School's Out by Allan Rohan Crite in the Smithsonian American Museum of Art.  Crite thought of himself as an artist-reporter whose assignment was to capture the daily lives of ordinary people. Memphis wall mural...

Music of Memphis

"Beale Street, just south of the main commercial and political thoroughfares of white Memphis, was at the heart of African American life and culture in the city.  Beale was home to businesses that catered to black Memphians and served as a haven from the often hostile...


Jo Ann Robinson

While many people know Rosa Parks as the face of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, few recognize the name of Jo Ann Robinson, the moving force behind the organization of the boycott.  Ms. Robinson was active in the Montgomery community, a member of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Martin L. King, Jr. later served as pastor and in the Women’s Political Council, a group designed to motivate African American women to take political action.

When Robinson became president of the WPC in 1950, she focused the organization’s efforts on desegregating buses, after having experienced humiliating treatment by a bus driver several years earlier. Working with attorney Fred Gray as her adviser, she met with the then-mayor of Montgomery, William A. Gayle but the city’s leadership was not interested in integrating buses, so Robinson conceptualized a boycott.

Following the arrest of Rosa Parks on Friday, December 1, 1955, Ms. Robinson, with the help of two students, created and mimeographed more than 50,000 flyers calling on Montgomery’s African American residents to boycott the buses on Monday, December 5 in support of Mrs. Parks.  They were widely distributed over the next several days through black owned businesses and churches and by word of mouth.

When the boycott proved successful, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), led by Martin Luther King, Jr., came to manage its continuation. Subsequently, Ms. Robinson was appointed to the MIA’s executive board and produced the organization’s weekly newsletter at King’s personal request.

For her role as a leader of the boycott, Ms. Robinson was arrested and targeted with violence; police officers threw a rock into her window and poured acid on her car. The harassment became so bad that state police were requested to guard her home. The boycott continued until December 20, 1956, when a federal district court declared segregating seating unconstitutional. The boycott also established King as a figure of national prominence and ushered in an era of nonviolent civil rights protests.



sMLK Executive Committee and Task Force Chairpersons

Executive Committee

Pancheta Peterson, Co-Convener
Karen Boujoukos, Co-Convener
Ken Campbell, Treasurer
Sally Norris
David Purdy
Deborah Ullman
Reverend Wesley Williams

Task Force Chairpersons
Jeff Spalter 
Chair, Conversations With Police

David Purdy 
Chair, Criminal Justice Reform

Angelina Chilaka
Karen Boujoukos
Co-Chairs, Education Task Force

Sally Norris 

Wesley Williams

Co-Chairs, MLK Breakfast Task Force

Leo Blandford 
Chair, Health Equity Task Force


In the News

 Fascinating article about conservative white law student in Mississippi who discovers positive truth about CRT.

A powerful example of banning books in schools as a way to silence authors and themes important to people of color. Article from Popular Information Newsletter by Judd Legum.

Editorial Written By A High School Student Regarding Education and CRT from the Wall Street Journal

Amplify POC Cape Cod co-sponsors panel discussion on racism on the Cape. Watch Here

NYT Article Regarding Wealth Gap and Financial Advisors and Influencers of Color Helping to Bridge the Gap


Racial Justice Resources

Here you can learn, learn, learn and become more aware of actions you can take to be an active antiracist. (Remember – ally is a verb!)

Annotated Racial Justice Bibliography

Annotated African-American Classics: An Essential Library

On the Topic of Being an Ally:

How to Have Tough Holiday Conversations from ARD Anti-Racism Daily written by author and ARD founder, Nicole Cardoza

Additional Readings & Resources

Regarding Inequities in Healthcare 

Education Task Force

The mission of the MLK Education Task Force is to help our communities reflect deeply on the way that race and other identifiers negatively impact education through thoughtful and thought-provoking learning opportunities. Our goal is to help to create safe, kind, and equitable educational communities by offering collaborative, value-added solutions to deficits in our educational systems and by providing BIPOC residents of Cape Cod, with a particular focus on educators and students, with social and professional support.

Current Initiatives:

  • DEI centered conference, free to all Cape Cod educators will be held on July 11, 2023 at the MRSD high school on Oak St. in Harwich.  Watch this site for detailed information soon. 
  • Community Book Drive to bring literature featuring children and families from a variety of cultures and ethnicities into our local classrooms successfully concluded with approximately 40 new books going to each Nauset and Monomoy School District 3rd grade classroom library.  Future book drives will be held on alternating years from educator conference.
  • Educator Mentorship Network to match newly hired educators of color with current and retired educators of color to help navigate their early career years.   See flyer in “Upcoming Events” section above.
  • Celebrating the Mosaic: Sites of Historic and Cultural Significance for the Many People Who Call ( & Have Called) Cape Cod Home, a fun, self-paced, (virtual or in person) educational scavenger hunt activity for people of all ages.  NOW available through link on this webpage.

Criminal Justice Task Force

We are a non-partisan group working in alliance with others to advance racial impartiality in the Cape Cod and Islands justice system with an emphasis on:

Educating the public regarding the role and responsibilities of the District Attorney, Sheriff, Governor’s Council; and encouraging open community discussion with candidates for and those who hold these offices; and advocating for all persons a more just and equal application of the law.   With the elections of 2022 behind us, we are currently considering new initiatives relating to criminal justice.  All suggestions are welcome.

An excellent expanation of the roles and responsibilities of the sheriff and district attorney, two critical positions in the criminal justice system from our partner and allied organization the Interfaith Justice Committee:

There are 14 Sheriff Departments in the Commonwealth, one for each county. Sheriff elections are held every 6 years, and in the last election, over 670,000 ballots left the sheriff selection blank.
The sheriff’s primary responsibility is the welfare of those incarcerated in the county jail, but also includes overseeing:
• Medical concerns
• Educational programming
• Preparation for reentry into society when they have completed their sentence
• Prisoner access to visitors and attorneys
• Telephone access to families and related costs
• Access to voting
The Sheriff also makes key decisions about undocumented individuals and their treatment by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
District Attorney
The District Attorney is an elected official and this year the DA position is open for election; over 72% of DA elections are uncontested. DAs have a very wide range of discretion in:
• Whether a suspect is charged
• What charges are brought
• Setting bail
• Confiscating property – even prior to a conviction
• What sentence to recommend
• Whether a suspect can be offered an alternative to criminal charges – i.e., counseling, etc.
• Whether plea-bargaining will be offered
This can have an enormous impact on a suspect’s life: they may be released without a charge, they may sit in jail for months awaiting trial, or they may be charged with a wide range of crimes, completely at the DA’s discretion. A conviction has lifelong implications – it can affect their ability to get a job, or a drivers’ license, or to vote.
These decisions have historically been applied quite differently to different populations: compared to the (mostly white) general population, Black and Latino people are charged and brought to trial at a greater rate and receive longer sentences for the same/similar crimes. Transparency is a critical attribute to explore as you assess candidates.

Past Initiatives:

  • Know Your Sheriff: Public Education Forum, Tuesday, May 24 6 pm in partnership with ACLU MA, Cape Cod Media Center, League of Women Voters Cape Cod, NAACP Cape Cod, Cape Cod Coalition for Safe Communities and MA Women of Color Coalition (MAWOCC).
  • What A Difference A DA Makes Wednesday, January 26, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
    A Virtual Public Education Webinar Presentation by Whitney Taylor, ACLU of MA Political Director
    NEW: Full Video presentation on our partner, League of Women Voters’ website with this link (scroll down to What a difference a DA Makes).
  • Several slides regarding public perception of our criminal justice system from the presentation can be seen in our photo gallery below.
  • To view a brief summary of the What A Difference A DA Makes project launched by the ACLU of MA to highlight the key role that the Commonwealth’s district attorneys play in determining the effectiveness and fairness of the criminal legal system, view this short video.
  • Take Action Today!
    Keep Them Home Project of Color of Change
    At the height of the pandemic, thousands of people – many of whom are elderly or immunocompromised – were released from federal prison to finish their sentences on home confinement in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, which we know runs rampant in prisons and jails that lack adequate health and safety services. Show Your Support


Most Americans are familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King’s ” I Have A Dream,” moving address; however, fewer than 10% have read and studied his ” Letter From Birmingham Jail,” considered by most scholars as his most important work.

Conversations With Police Task Force

The mission of the Conversations with Police Task Force is to ensure a healthy relationship between the local police and communities of color. It is our intention — through discussion, education, and advocacy — to promote mutual trust and understanding between those pledged to serve and protect and all members of the community equally.

Educating ALL Cape Cod Students – Celebrating the Mosaic Educators Conference, 2021


We recommend the following articles and resources for educators, parents, students and community members:

– From The Hechinger Report, Covering Innovation and Equality in Education, “Why the narrative that critical race theory ‘makes white kids feel guilty’ is a lie”

– Facing History and Ourselves: Offers many social and racial justice resources including lesson palns and toolkits

– Teaching for Change: Buidling Social Justice Teaching in the Classroom,

– Social Justice Books, Offers a great selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, YA, and educators.

– Zinn Education Project,

– AFT Share My Lessons: Civil Rights Lesson Plans and Resources,

– Voices of Rebirth: A Reading List on Being Indigenous in America,

Build your understanding of what it means to create an equitable and inclusive classroom by We Schools, a free program for teachers across America, providing resources and training to support them in addressing critical social issues with their students.

From Education Week, “How Do You Teach Black History Without Breaking the Law. Advice From a Teacher

Fascinating article about conservative white law student in Mississippi who discovers positive truth about CRT, “Inside Mississippi’s only class on critical race theory”.

2023 Annual MLK Breakfast

​This year’s breakfast highlights the racial justice advocacy work of the MLK Action Team