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…

News & activities the MLK Action Team wants to share with our neighbors

Spread the word!!!  Cape Cod Community College participates in MA Free College for All program: check their website at this link for qualification criteria and more information

From SPLC – Could You Pass a Literacy Test to Vote?  If you were living in Alabama in the early 1960s and wanted to vote, you first had to answer some very difficult questions.  At least if you were Black, you did.  Before you could even register to vote, you had to pass a “literacy test,” which typically included many questions about the law and government, and was administered and evaluated by a white elections official. While white applicants always seemed to get the easiest questions, or perhaps even none, Black applicants got the hardest.  Literacy tests were one of the most effective ways the white power structure in Alabama and across the Deep South kept Black Americans from voting.

You can see for yourself how challenging these questions are by taking this sample test:

When a Duke professor sent four questions from an Alabama literacy test to every constitutional law professor in the country in 1965 and asked for their impromptu answers, 70 percent of the responses were wrong.

If searching for ways to talk to kids about race, check out the website EmbraceRace here 

And: The New York Times article about artist Ernie Barnes, an artist of the people — most especially of Black people — selling reproductions at prices that enabled everyone to own something beautiful but also an artist to the rich and famous…: 

Link to a list of Anti-Racism Resources including books, films, podcasts and more recently shared with us by a team member:   Document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020.

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS: Embracing Our Differences in Sarasota, Florida is a global art and quotation contest encouraging and supporting diversity and anti-racism. The participants are a combination of students and adults and amateurs and professionals from around the world.  More information can be found on their website or Facebook page:

Open Eyes Travel – posting photos from travel that opens our eyes to a more inclusive US History.   If you want to share travel experiences that may help us broaden our understanding of the contributions of persons of color to our US history, please send them to me with brief explanation of photo at [email protected]

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


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:

This series is supported by a grant from MA Humanities with funding from the MASS Cultural Council. 

September 30, Before 1620, Who Was Here? and Delilah Gibbs, Wellfleet’s Last Indian? talk with Aquinnah Wampanoag elder, Linda Coombs at the Wellfleet Histroical Society and Museum.  Talk will include an exhibit tour. and begins at 2 pm

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

Friday, October 13, 6 – 7:30 PM Join members of MLK Action Team for a Gallery Reception with punch & light deserts to view the Family Diversity Project’s photographic exhibit, “Of Many Colors, Portraits of Multiracial Families”.  At First Parish Brewster Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse, on Route 6A (1969 Main Street) in Brewster.  Parking across the street at the Brewster Thrift Store, behind the Brewster Chowder House, or down Cottonwood Rd. to the large “Parking” sign.  (Held in cooperation with Nauset Interfaith Association, Family Diversity Project and First Parish UU Meetinghouse). 

Coming in November:
Opening Friday, November 3: 6-7:30 PM “Love Makes a Family’ Portraits of LGBTQ People and Their Families.
First Parish Brewster Unitarian Universalist, 1969 Main Street, Brewster

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

Anti-Racism Conference for Educators Well Received

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...

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MLK Potluck Dinner

MLK Potluck Dinner

As a thank you to our community partners and allies in racial justice work, the MLK Action Team hosted a potluck dinner at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Chatham.  Great food and even better company and conversation all around.

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The Way of Wampum

The Way of Wampum

Linda Coombs, an Aquinnah Wampanoag Elder shared her knowledge of the cultural and historical significance of wampum at an MLK Action Team/Wellfleet Historical Society sponsored event recently.  Following her talk, her brother-in-law, Darius Coombs, pictured here with...

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Open Eyes Travel Blog

NYC – Black History Highlights on Broadway, part 2

Above: the legendary Pearl Bailey.  Below:  A drawing by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld featuring Nell Carter and Andre De Shields in a Broadway revival of "Ain't Misbehavin' " Below: The Wiz with Stephanie Mills Coming up next: The American Wing of the Metropolitan...


Anna M. Rosenberg

Anna M. Rosenberg was born in Budapest in 1899 and emigrated to the United States in 1912 with her mother and sister to join their father/husband who had emigrated two years earlier.  As a young woman, she became very involved with the Democratic Party machine of NYC and began her career as a labor negotiator.  Her many successes in that role led her to meet Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was campaigning for Governor of NY and she became an important part of his campaign cabinet.

Once FDR became president, Ms. Rosenberg became a valued and much trusted advisor.  In early 1941, Roosevelt needed to increase armaments manufacture, as a national security goal.  A. Phillip Randolph, an activist with a vision of ending discrimination in employment and integrating the armed services, called for A March on Washington to demand that FDR take concrete steps to end both.  Though “…FDR saw the need for an order against discrimination, he feared that the issue might slow war production at a time when it needed to accelerate”* and he wanted the March on Washington to be called off.  Anna Rosenberg and others were part of the president’s team that met with Mr. Randolph and other Black leaders to negotiate the issue.  Those negotiations led to FDR’s Executive Order 8802 which required employers and labor organizations to “…provide for the full and equitable participation of all workers in the defense industries, without discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin.” and it established the Fair Employment Practices Committee to investigate grievances, monitor compliance and strip contracts from discriminatory defense companies.

As a regional director of the War Manpower Commission with an area that included Buffalo, NY, she confronted companies who were ignoring Executive Order 8802.  As author, Christopher Gorham writes in his biography of Anna, The Confidante, “After employing ‘only a handful’ of Black workers in 1942, aircraft maker Curtiss-Wrighjt had 1,492 Black workers on the payroll, 940 of them women, by June 1943.  Bell Aircraft employed another 900.  Her work on behalf of the Black community of the Niagara district was consistent with Anna’s commitment to civil rights.  She had brokered Executive Order 8802 in 1941; insisted Pacific shipyards hire Black workers in 1942; and was seen as an ally by Black leaders such as Paul Robeson, future Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, and Clarence Mitchell, Jr.”*

Under President Truman, Anna Rosenberg became the first woman to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense.  She argued with her boss, Secretary of Defense, General Marshall that military units should all be integrated.  As author Gorham wrote, “Her position that integration was morally right and militarily efficient resonated with [General Marshal] who thereafter ordered the use of Black troops integrated combat units.”  She fought for integration in all aspects of military base life as well and by the time she left the Defense Department in 1953, “Segregation and discrimination were virtually eliminated from the internal organization of the active military.  Integration and equal treatment was the official policy in such on-base facilities as swimming pools, chapels, barbershops, post exchanges, movie theaters, and dependents’ housing as well as in the more direct areas of assignment and promotion.”

When asked by a reporter in 1951 how many Black soldiers were serving in Korea, she replied, “I don’t know or care how many Black soldiers are here; as far as I’m concerned, there are only American soldiers”

(All quotes and most information shared here are from the book, The Confidante, The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WWII and Shape Modern America, by Christopher Gorham)



MLK Executive Committee and Task Force Chairpersons

Executive Committee

Karen Boujoukos, Chair
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