Wake Up! Break the Cycle of Racism” is the theme of this year’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference.
The conference will take place at the
Double Tree Bedford Glen Hotel in Bedford on
Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.
EMAC Chair Yan Yii said the conference will
build on conversations about racism and white
privilege that have occurred over the past few
years at EMAC conferences, the MTA Summer
Conference and various forums.
Yii said the theme of the conference represents
an urgent call to action to all MTA members,
regardless of whether they have participated in
“Whether or not you are an ethnic minority, it is
time that we all woke up and started getting beyond
just talking about racism,” she said. “We need to
move toward changing the social dynamics that
allow racism to continue to exist.”
She added, “When the rights of our students,
our families, our neighbors and our friends are being
questioned because of the color of their skin, how
can we stay silent? How can we allow this behavior
The keynote speaker on Friday evening will be
former METCO Executive Director Jean McGuire.
In 1973, McGuire took the reins at the
Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity
one year before court-ordered busing began in
Boston. She went on to oversee the program, which
is aimed at expanding opportunities for students
in underfunded school districts and increasing
diversity in suburban schools, for the next 43 years.
McGuire is a former teacher and school
counselor in the Boston Public Schools. In 1981,
she became the first black woman elected to the
Boston School Committee. McGuire has a degree in
education from Boston State College and a master’s
humanitarian of the year by the Boston Ethical
Community in 2004, and she received a lifetime
achievement award from Community Change in
2012. She was awarded an honorary doctor of public
service degree from Tufts University in 2017.
On Friday evening, participants will also be
treated to a performance by classical Indian dancers
from the Triveni School of Dance in Brookline. In
addition to training dancers, the school is a nonprofit
organization dedicated to social awareness and
celebrating cultural diversity.
Another highlight of the conference will be a
panel discussion on Saturday that will focus on the
theme of the conference.
Also on Saturday, morning and afternoon
workshops will be held on topics that include
creating safe places to break the cycle of racism,
developing relationships between educators and
students of color, and decolonizing the curriculum.
In the spring, the committee intends to conduct
regional forums focused on the state’s history and
social science curriculum framework.
“We hope that you will join us at our 39th
annual EMAC Conference,” Yii said. “There is much
to be discussed, and we can’t break the cycle of
racism if we aren’t willing to talk about it.”
Watch for conference registration information at
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