Middle School Students of Color Conference

Saturday, February 8, 2020
8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Inly School
Scituate, Massachusetts

A Conference for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Graders
Attending AISNE Member Schools

Inly School is proud to host AISNE’s 2020 Middle School Students of Color Conference on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

All aspects of one’s identity converge to overlay into our unique selves, then society sorts us into boxes in an effort to create systems. Intentionally and unintentionally, systems discriminate between boxes. When inside our boxes, who do we become? How do we mark the walls of our boxes? What expression moves through you and out into the world? Spill the contents out for all of humanity to see? What contents of your box would be here, there and everywhere?

AISNE demonstrates its commitment to allyship through its annual Middle School Students of Color Conference by making space for those who identify with the global majority. Centering voices and stories is a tradition that exists across cultures and beyond recorded time. Institutions now carry on this responsibility. What’s the story inside your box? Join us.


  • Arrive & Register: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
  • Enjoy Breakfast, Networking and Welcome Activities: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
  • Welcome: Donna Milani Luther, Head of School, Inly School: 9:15 a.m.
    • Joined by:
      • Jimmy Juste, Director of the Office of Inclusion, Inly School
      • Jennifer McGonagle, Middle School Program Director & Math Teacher, Inly School
      • Claire Leheny, Executive Director, AISNE
      • Kristin Bedard, Director, Communications and Member Engagement, AISNE
      • Becky Biggs, Director, Professional Development, AISNE
    • Opening Performance: OrigiNation: 9:25 a.m.
    • Opening Keynote Address: Jerry Craft: 9:45 - 10:30 a.m.
    • Workshop I: 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
    • Lunch and Activities: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
    • Workshop II: 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
    • Closing Keynote Address: 2:30 - 3:00 p.m.
    • Reflections, Open Mic and Farewell: 3:00 - 3:15 p.m.
    • Depart: 3:15 - 3:30 p.m.


    We are currently full. Please contact Kristin: kristin@aisne.org with questions.

    Workshop Choices

    Workshop Choices and Student Workshop Selection Form: coming soon!

    Participating Students should please bring their Workshop Selection Form on Saturday, February 8. Workshops will be assigned as part of registration.

    Participating Schools

    • Atrium School
    • Beaver Country Day School
    • Belmont Day School
    • Boston College High School
    • Brookwood School
    • Buckingham Browne & Nichols School
    • Cardigan Mountain School
    • Charles River School
    • The Chestnut Hill School
    • Community Preparatory School
    • Dana Hall School
    • Derby Academy
    • Fay School
    • Friends Academy
    • Gordon School
    • Inly School
    • Lincoln School
    • The Meadowbrook School of Weston
    • Milton Academy
    • Moses Brown School
    • Newton Country Day School
    • Noble and Greenough School
    • The Park School
    • The Pike School
    • Riverbend School
    • The Wheeler School
    • The Woodward School

    About Our Keynote Speaker

    Jerry Craft

    Jerry Craft is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels for publishers such as HarperCollins, Scholastic, Benchmark, Pearson and his own publishing company, Mama’s Boyz, Inc. His newest book, New Kid (HarperCollins), is a middle grade graphic novel that has earned four starred reviews, including one from Booklist magazine that called it “Possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called it “An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.”

    In 2014, Jerry earned recognition from the Junior Library Guild for illustrating The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, written by Patrik Henry Bass and published by Scholastic. His middle grade novel, which he co-wrote with his two sons Jaylen & Aren Craft, The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!, is an action / adventure story designed to teach kids about the negative effects of bullying. It was chosen by PACER.ORG as one of the best middle grade books on bullying.

    Jerry’s illustrations have also appeared in national publications such as Essence magazine as well as comic books, greeting cards, book covers, and board games.

    Jerry is also the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 – 2013; making him one of the few syndicated African-American cartoonists in the country. Mama’s Boyz follows the lives of Pauline Porter, a widow raising her two teenage sons (Tyrell and Yusuf) while also running the family bookstore. Jerry has won five African American Literary Award Show Open Book Awards for “best comic strip” (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 & 2004).

    He has published four Mama’s Boyz books. The first, Mama’s Boyz: As American as Sweet Potato Pie! was named in Great Books for African American Children. Mama’s Boyz: The Big Picture was named the 2010 S’Indie Award Winner for best children’s book and was featured in School Library Journal. The comic has been featured in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books, The Idiot’s Guide to Comedy Writing and even the math text book, A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics For Elementary School Teachers! His most recent in the series, Mama’s Boyz: In Living Color, is the first done as a full-color graphic novel.

    Although humorous, Mama’s Boyz has also teamed up with several national organizations to help raise awareness for serious topics such as his comic book on leukemia. His work for the American Diabetes Association earned him two Outstanding Supporter Awards. In addition, he has helped to fight childhood obesity with the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition; raise awareness of organ and tissue donation for Donate Life America; and increase support for the DC Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy. The latter earned him a “Conversation Starter” award. Most recently he worked with the DC public school system to do a series of bus and subway posters telling kids the importance of a good education.

    Jerry is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts where he received his BFA degree in advertising. After working in the ad world for a dozen years as a copywriter, he got his first job as a cartoonist working as an assistant to Barbara Slate on a variety of comic books and graphic novels for Marvel and Harvey Comics, including Sweet 16 and New Kids on the Block. This was followed by eight years at King Features Syndicate where he wrote sales brochures for some of the world’s most popular comic strips. Before stepping out on his own, he was the Editorial Director for the Sports Illustrated for Kids web site where he was nominated for a New Media Award by the National Cartoonists Society for his series of popular Flash cartoons.

    He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 50,000 fans since its inception in 2013. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.