Middle School Diversity Conference

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Dedham Country Day School, Dedham, MA

Use Your Voice

Magic exists inside of us all. We can change our lives when we stand in our truth and own who we are. - Shantae J. Edwards

Participating Schools


  • Breakfast & Registration: 9:15 - 9:45 a.m.
  • Welcome: 9:55 a.m.
  • Opening Keynote: 10:00 - 10:50 a.m.
  • Workshop 1: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Lunch: 12:05 - 12:50 p.m.
  • Workshop 2: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
  • Performance: 2:10 - 2:20 p.m.
  • Closing Keynote: 2:20 - 2:50 p.m.
  • Final Thoughts & Farewell: 2:50 - 3:00 p.m.

Featuring Opening Keynote Speaker: Shantae J. Edwards

Owning My Story.

This keynote address is about the magic that exists inside of us all and how we can change our lives when we stand in our truth and own who we are. Owning my story is a belief, an “aha moment,” that gives you permission to understand the value of your presence and that you are enough, right now.

This conversation will inspire and shift the mindsets of what students believe about themselves and their purpose. Through my personal story of self-doubt, parental neglect and being bullied, students will understand that despite the challenges that life throws our way, we can still win because those challenges support our growth to becoming better humans when we find power in their lessons.

Choices for Workshops 1 and 2:

Offered One Time:

  • All of Who I Am: LGBTQ+ Identities, Fingerprint Art and The Beauty of Who We Are
  • Let’s Cook! Examining the Hungry Planet by Looking at Food Around the World
  • You Are a Change Agent

Offered Two Times:

  • American Raku; Working with Clay and Fire
  • Brain Training for a Busy World: Yoga and Mindfulness for Everyday Living
  • Dry Ice Capades
  • Find Your Voice: Adolescents and Activism
  • Hidden Figures
  • Identity and the Arts
  • Let's Salsa: Learn the Origination of Salsa and Partner Dancing
  • Let Your Voice be Heard Through Music and Poetry
  • New School Hip Hop
  • Powerful Voices
  • Throw Like a Girl!: Exploring Girls Lives Past and Present
  • Use Your Voice: Be a White Ally
  • Voice Yourself! An Introduction to Screenwriting
  • What Do You Think? Bias, Perception, and Influence Through Media and Advertising

Performance: By a student at Dedham Country Day School who is a member of the Boston Children's Chorus

Featuring Closing Keynote Speakers: Ben Kahan and Zeezee Canning

Pictured left to right: Ben Kahan and Zeezee Canning

Interdisciplinary artists Ben Kahan and Zeezee Canning explore finding a voice in the larger world through King’s Dharma, a multimedia production that combines film and stage.

Zeezee and Ben introduce two ways King’s Dharma explores voice: introducing an “Eastern” ideology to a “Western” audience through storytelling; and designing and using new technology to experience unique perspectives and understand other voices.

King’s Dharma incorporates many forms of art, including traditional live theater, video game design, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality, and live film. Zeezee and Ben will explore how each form supports the goal of using the voice and how King’s Dharma has encouraged the exploration of identity within the context of the larger world.

Final Thoughts & Farewell