Who We Are

Justice Conference

Joining Together: Sparking Change

Saturday, March 26, 2022
Falmouth Academy, 7 Highfield Drive Falmouth, MA 02540

Falmouth Academy Students for Social Justice invited regional educators and students in grades 7 through 12 to participate in important social and environmental conversations to shape our communities in the future. More than 140 students from 14 schools on the Cape, Martha's Vineyard and the South Shore and Coast participated. 

We created a vibrant community-learning experience about social and environmental justice issues. Our theme, Joining Together: Sparking Change reflected our desire to bring school communities together to share, learn, and inspire one another to create positive contributions to climate and social justice efforts.

In addition to the inspiring keynote address by Derick Lugo, author of The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, students participated in a wide variety of engaging workshops that incorporated climate science, social justice works, photography, journalism, and policy and legislation - just to name a few!

This conference was generously supported by the Lovell Charitable Foundation.

Social Justice at Falmouth Academy

Interested in learning more about social justice at Falmouth Academy? Please check out the following web pages for more information on initiatives, policies, and curricula.

If you want to learn more about admissions or take a tour, please visit the LEARN MORE page.

Keynote Speaker: Derick Lugo

Derick Lugo had never hiked or camped a day in his life. This Brooklyn-born urbanite hopped a train to Georgia, grabbed a taxi, and instructed the driver to drop him off at the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. Then he put one foot in front of the other and never looked back.

After completing the trail and hiking for more than 2,000 miles, Lugo is now planning his next adventure. 

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker
is his debut memoir.

Schedule of the Day

9:00 - 9:30 Arrival and Registration 

9:30 - 9:45 Welcome Address and School Introductions 
10:00 -11:00 Keynote by Derick Lugo (Simon Center)

11:10 -12:00 Workshop I

12:00 - 12: 55  Lunch with The ZYG 808
A Grammy-nominated Soul Poet

1:00 - 1:50 Workshop II

2:00 - 2:50 Workshop III

3:00 - 3:40 Indigenous Cultural Performance,
featuring Ho-Chunk and Wampanoag Nations

3:45 Closing Remarks & Senior Recognition 

4:00 Departure


Amiti Bey, Co-Director, “Time Out of Joint”
Barbara Burgo, Cape Cod Cape Verdean Museum &  Cultural Center
Carol DiFalco
, Falmouth Academy DEI Coordinator
Megan English-Braga, Falmouth Selectboard
Dr. Petra Ehrenbrink, Falmouth Academy Academic Dean
Scott Fitzmaurice, CIGSYA
Amy Galvam, Falmouth Academy Director of Communications
Cameron Greendeer
, STEP Grant Manager, Wampanoag Tribe
Jacquelyn Hartman, JEDI consultant (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion)
Sara Hines
, Eight Cousins Bookstore
Liz Klein, Falmouth Academy Science Chair
Talia Landry, Communications, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
Amy Lilavois, MVRHS
Lillian Lomba, Zumba Instructor
Derrick Lugo, Keynote speaker, author of The Unlikely Thru-Hiker
Matt Malowski, MVRHS
Susan Moffat, Falmouth Academy Teacher/Photographer
Rae Nishi, Ph.D.  Senior Research and Education Scholar
Paula Peters, SmokeSygnals
Marney Rathbun '12, Falmouth Academy English Teacher
Calli Remillard, Falmouth Enterprise
Steve Rowland, Producer/Co-Director, “Time Out of Joint”
Helen Reuter, Falmouth Academy Director of Learning Support
Britta Santamauro
, Falmouth Academy Librarian
Onjalé Scott Price, Falmouth Board of Selectboard
Tara Vargas, Amplify Cape Cod and Thrive
Greg Watson, Schumacher Center for a New Economics
Luke Xiang ‘23, Falmouth Academy Student

Workshops & Performances

List of 18 items.

  • Bias & Blindspots in Journalism

    Calli Remillard, Journalist Falmouth Enterprise
    Bias and Blindspots in Journalism: A Crash Course

    We live in an ever-changing world, and the news we read should reflect that. But in an environment where centuries-deep stereotypes and prejudices are unavoidably baked into our history, it becomes harder to recognize and steer clear of them. Journalist Calli Remillard led students through a crash course on understanding bias in the world of journalism: how it affects reporting, where it comes from, why it even matters, and how we can consciously avoid it to create more inclusive reporting that is representative of the world we live in today.
  • Cape Verde's Response

    Barbara Burgo, Cape Verdean Museum
    Cape Verde's Response to Climate Change

    Cape Verde is famous for its beloved tortuga (loggerhead turtles). This workshop explored how the climate crisis has impacted Cape Verde, and the ways Cape Verdeans are responding to the threat to their way of life.
  • Climate Solutions A-Z

    Britta Santamauro, Librarian, Falmouth Academy 
    Climate Solutions A-Z: What You Can Do!

    We all know the effects of the climate crisis are a global problem but there are things we can do to engage in finding solutions. Using resources from Project Drawdown and The United Nations Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World, students explored ways to get involved.
  • Declare Yourself

    Marney Rathbun, English teacher, Falmouth Academy
    A Poetry Workshop

    Students explored contemporary poetry and lyrics of self-declaration and self-celebration.

    Read More
  • Globally Displaced Populations

    Luke Xiang '23, Student, Falmouth Academy
    Carol DiFalco, DEI Coordinator and School Counselor, Falmouth Academy

    Economic and Ethical Implications of The United States' Practices with Globally Displaced Populations

    Students learned about globally displaced populations and the United States' refugee and asylum resettlement policies.
  • Monuments & Statues in Racial Bias

    Rae Nishi, Ph.D., Senior Research and Education Scholar
    Whose Memory is it Anyway? The Roles of Monuments and Statues in Racial Bias

    The recent removal of statues of confederate soldiers and former slave owners has created a furor over what is and what is not appropriate to display publicly. Students reviewed examples and developed strategies for creating more appropriate public displays.
  • Indigenous Cultural Performance

    Ho-Chunk and Wampanoag Nations
    Indigenous Performance

    Members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe led by Cameron Greendeer shared information about its history and culture while presenting various styles of Indigenous dancing and regalia.
  • Public Policy to Spark Change

    Megan English Braga and Onjalé Scott Price, Falmouth Selectboard
    Public Policy to Spark Change: A Panel Discussion 

    Local and State Representatives play an instrumental role in advancing social and environmental justice issues. In this interactive panel discussion, participants learned the basics of public policy and shared ideas with local representatives.
  • Shakespeare's Audience

    Steve Rowland and Amiti Bey, Documentary Producer and Co-Director of “Time Out of Joint”  
    For Whom is Shakespeare Designed?

    Prior to this workshop, students were asked to watch the following film: https://vimeo.com/479680080, and then Steve and Bey facilitated a discussion about students' reactions to the film. The topics included Shakespeare (of course) and human issues including loyalty, betrayal, power, manhood, misogyny, war, crime, family, and (of course) love. Conversations touched on the prison education system, racism, mass incarceration, and prison reform.
  • Share Your Story

    Derick Lugo, Keynote Speaker
    Share Your Story

    Students were empowered to tell their stories and explored ways to use digital and social media as platforms for storytelling.
  • Solar Cooking

    Petra Ehrenbrink, Academic Dean, Falmouth Academy
    What's Cooking? Using Sunlight to Prepare Food

    In this hands-on workshop, students built a small version of a Copenhagen panel oven and learned how to use sunlight as a fuel to cook foods.
  • The Power of an Image

    Susan Moffat, Photography teacher, Falmouth Academy
    Unite People and Ignite Change with the Power of an Image!

    We are bombarded with images through the internet, tv, newsprint, and other media. In this interactive workshop, students used digital tools to create a poster to help draw attention to important issues. They looked at samples of historical and current images, then, through Adobe Spark, made their own posters.

    Tara Vargas Wallace, Amplify Cape Cod and Thrive & Scott Fitzmaurice, Cape & Islands Gay & Straight Youth Alliance

    This workshop was designed for students who are knowledgeable about justice issues in the LGBTQ+ community and are ready to take their learning and engagement to the next level! Learn about the challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community and actionable ways to work towards justice.
  • Videography and Social Justice

    Videography and Social Justice
    Talia Landry

    Videography can be used to convey stories, influence opinion, and generate thought. Students looked at examples and discussed the effect and technical/artistic methods used.
  • What is Cultural Justice?

    Paula Peters, SmokeSygnals
    What is Cultural Justice?

    Students explore cultural justice through an activist lens with Paula Peters of the Mashpee Nine project. Mashpee Nine is the story of injustice, activism, and vindication that emboldened cultural pride and integrity for the Mashpee Wampanoag in 1976. The story documents the raid and brutal arrest of nine men who were in the middle of a traditional drumming ceremony. These events happened in the context of the dramatic growth of a small Native American town on Cape Cod. The subsequent trial became a celebrated cause for cultural justice within the community. Students were asked to watch the Mashpee Nine film prior to the workshop. https://vimeo.com/225781100/902255545f
  • Windows & Mirrors

    Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Bookstore
    Windows & Mirrors: Navigating Diversity and Representation in Contemporary Publishing for Children and Teens

    This workshop discussed publishing trends in children's books through the lens of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop's article on Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass doors (provided). They examined and analyzed data circulated in 2012, 2015, and 2018 by the Children's Cooperative Book Council, as well as Melinda Lo's blog on LGBTQIA+ literature for teens. Small groups had time to discuss individual scenarios that engage with larger conversations currently being discussed in the publishing industry, such as representation, #ownvoices, identity disclosure, and access to materials. Finally, they reviewed and assessed samples of contemporary and upcoming books for a wide age range to practice evaluating books and book marketing.
  • The World Game

    Greg Watson, Schumacher Center for a New Economics
    Global Mobilization Game: Mobilizing Economies To Create A Sustainable and Just World

    As members of a "Global Government Body," student used their authority to redistribute the world’s resources to address the most pressing environmental and environmental justice problems facing humanity. For instance, automobile manufacturers were instructed to temporarily retool for the purpose of building wind turbines and solar panels in order to wean the world from fossil fuels. 

    Lessons from history were explored to find inspiration.
    Read More
  • Zumba

    Lillian Lomba, Certified Zumba Instructor
    Read More

Musical Performance by The ZYG 808

The ZYG 808 (pronounced 'Zee Why Gee' Eight-0h-Eight)  is a world-class, Grammy-nominated Soul Poet music maker (musician, composer, producer, vocalist, DJ), and recording artist of Afrobeats, EDM, and Hip-Hop.  A leading figure in the Thump & Soul music movement; he is definitely doing his part to bring the good vibes music to the people.

“Music is how I connect with people. Melodies, grooves, beats, and stories play in my head all of the time. Other people continue to make incredible music. I feel a need to share it all, bring the good vibes, and get folks dancing and feeling right.” -The ZYG

FA Student Organizers

Mia Galvam ’22
Tarun Gonneea ’22
Abigail Neubert '22
Sarah Thieler '22
Daniela Carvajal '24
Sabrina Vazquez '24
Thalia O'Neil ’24

David Aubrey '26, Yaz Aubrey '25, Lili Connors '24, Evan Freedman '24, Lila Journalist '25, Charlotte Galvam '27 Taleena Gonneea '26, Bianca Greco '23, Fiona Gully '24, Sophie Holmes '27, Declan Lane '25, Noah Manning ‘24, Natalie Packard '24, Robert Ronan '26, Lexi Todd-Weinstein '27, and Luke Xiang '23
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