EMAC Conference

EMAC LogoThe MTA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference offers participants the opportunity to engage in discussions about white privilege and racism, ethnic and racial identity, and economic and social justice. The conference uses workshops, presentations and entertainment to inspire participants to work on ideas for action and to bring those ideas back to their locals, classrooms and communities.

Learn about the work of the Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee

EMAC 2021 | PRIDE Intersectionality and Education:

How Can Education Be Reformed to Make Our LGBTQ2S+ Students Feel Seen and Supported?

Moving through this world while being from a marginalized community has many challenges – especially if your community is predominantly white. For those who are part of the LGBTQ2S+ community, there is often even more to consider. Panel members for this event will explore these issues in depth and discuss them.


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“As we reflect on our past struggles, pain and triumphs, we must also listen, grow, laugh and cry. We must organize to lead and unite. We rise because we are resilient.”

EMAC Chair Sharmese Gunn

EMAC Conferences Over the Years

2020

Overcoming 400 Years of Struggle ... and Still We Rise
The EMAC Conference 2020 was the first ever to be held virtually.  The Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee had an extraordinary program lined up featuring Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, and NEA President Becky Pringle, an inspiring speaker and unrelenting advocate for all students and communities of color. The conference was packed with inspiring presentations and workshops.

2019

Education, Love & Justice
The 2019 MTA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference focused both on the past and the years ahead as participants honored EMAC’s 40th anniversary and looked to a future in which love — of teaching and of public education — plays a central role in the fight for economic, racial and social justice.

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2018

Wake Up! Break the Cycle of Racism
The 2018 EMAC Conference pushed participants to examine the structural nature of racism and then speak up and take action. The two-day conference included workshops, entertainment, a panel discussion addressing perceptions about school safety, and remarks by MTA leaders and the former executive director of the state's METCO program.

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2017

‘Getting Real About Race’
Building relationships of trust, breaking through fear in order to bring about change and actively resisting attempts to turn back the clock on immigrants’ rights were themes that ran through the 2017 EMAC Conference. The two-day event, titled “Getting Real About Race,” was held Dec. 1 and 2 in Framingham. It featured speeches, discussion and workshops on helping students and their families cope during a time of open racism and hostility toward ethnic minorities and other groups.

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2016

Race, Ethnicity and Public Education: Deepening the Conversation
Discussions about standing together against bigotry, understanding racism as a system designed to divide and control, and engaging in “difficult conversations” highlighted the 2016 conference held on Dec 2 and 3 in Framingham. Coming on the heels of a presidential campaign that tapped into a troubling strain of racism and bigotry in America, EMAC Chair Yan Yii opened the event by reminding participants that “given the current political climate, our mission is more important now than ever.”

Read more and see photos from the 2016 conference.

2015

The Power of Activism
Stories of wisdom acquired through struggle highlighted the 2015 MTA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee Conference. Keynote speakers Jitu Brown, a Dyett High School hunger striker from Chicago who is the national director of the Journey for Justice Alliance, and Clayola Brown, a former textile industry organizer who is president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute — emphasized the need to organize, build coalitions and focus on the big picture. Click here to read more and here to see photos of the event.

2014

Standing on a Great Foundation

EMAC celebrated its 35th anniversary on December 5 and 6. Association members gathered for a special conference featuring warm memories of the past and a message about the need to keep EMAC’s spirit of involvement alive. The theme, “Standing on a Great Foundation,” was reflected in the stories of members who recounted how EMAC grew over the years to become the driving force for ethnic minority participation and advancement within the MTA. Click here for coverage of the event and here for photos.

2013

MTA Ethnic Minority Affairs Conference 2013
Participants at the 2013 conference heard from ethnic minorities who faced and surmounted roadblocks to became leaders. Click here for coverage of the two-day event held on Dec. 6 and 7. Photos are available on Flickr.

2012

Celebrating Our Diverse Cultural Backgrounds
“Celebrating Our Diverse Cultural Backgrounds" was the theme of the MTA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee’s 2012 conference, held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. View photos on Flickr.