We the People: Stories of Strength and Struggle in Challenging Times

A Conference for Teachers of Grades 3-8 and School Librarians

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
May 9, 8:30 AM - 3:15 PM

In his final months in office, amidst a nationwide struggle for civil rights, John F. Kennedy framed the ongoing crisis as a moral as well as a constitutional and legal issue. More than 55 years later, people of color, immigrants from certain countries, women, and LGBTQ communities continue to face inequities.

Join award-winning authors Joseph Bruchac, Lesa Cline-Ransome, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, and Pam Muñoz Ryan to explore how children's literature can shed light on people past and present who are seen as "other." Uncover stories of strength and struggle in the search for opportunity, freedom, and equality. Discuss the impact on all children of seeing stories about underrepresented groups in books and other media, and reflect on the role educators play in a time of social and political divisiveness. Consider new strategies to help students engage in civic discourse and become active, empathetic community members.

How to Register

Registration is required for the program. Conference space is limited - please register early. 

Download the registration form and conference brochure. Send completed forms and payment to:

Esther Kohn
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125

Early Registration: $95 if postmarked by March 30
Regular Registration: $115, must be postmarked by April 12

Registration fee includes handouts, morning coffee, and lunch.

For more information, contact Esther Kohn at esther.kohn@nara.gov, 617-514-1649.

Program at a Glance

8:00Registration, Book Browsing
8:30Introduction
8:45Uncovering Stories of Strength and Struggle" Keynote Address by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
9:45Book Browsing, Conversation with Colleagues
10:15"Telling Our Stories, Sharing Our History": Panel discussion with Joseph Bruchac, Lesa Cline Ransome, and Pam Muñoz Ryan--moderated by Megan Dowd Lambert
11:30Lunch
12:30Concurrent Sessions I
 A. Meet the Author: Erica Armstrong Dunbar (60 minutes)
 B. A Teachable Moment: Responding to Children's comments and Questions about Difference with Jamila Capitman and Doug Weinstock
 C. The Whole Book Approach and Critical Literacy with Megan Dowd Lambert
1:45Concurrent Sessions II
 C. Meet the Author: Joseph Bruchac
 D. Meet the Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
 F.  Meet the Author: Pam Muñoz Ryan
2:50Conclusion, Book Signing

Learn more about the authors and workshop presenters.

Learn more about the conference sessions.