The Connections Conference is a social justice event for high school and middle school students, teachers, and administrators where we explore issues of bias, privilege, and discrimination. Through immersive, hands-on workshops, together we explore how to support each other and make our communities better for everyone. Last year we had over 700 students, teachers, and school staff join us from all over New England.
Connections Conference 2024
Friday, March 15, 2024
Sutton High School in Sutton, MA
Our theme this year is
“Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers:
Creating Just and Equitable Schools for Everyone.”
CYNTHIA LEITICH SMITH
ACTRESS, AUTHOR, PUBLIC SPEAKER, AND ACTIVIST
Kai Shappley (Her/She) loves her family, her friends, her dog,
her cat, and everything Dolly Parton. She has a wide variety of
aspirations for the future ranging from owning more cats than her mother
currently allows to being elected President in 2048.
Kai is transgender and has been under attack from the Texas legislature
since she was in kindergarten. Her testimonies before legislative
committees considering bad legislative ideas designed to bully
transgender kids have repeatedly gone viral and she has won numerous
awards, including being a finalist for Time Magazine’s kid of the year in
2021. A documentary about her journey, Trans in America: Texas Strong,
won an Emmy for outstanding short documentary and a new full length
documentary that chronicles her story, Mama Bears, recently premiered
on PBS. She has been a guest star on the Netflix series The Babysitters
Club and she released her first book in May of 2023, Joy to the World, a
middle school novel about a tween girl living her life to the fullest
centering on the richness and breadth of trans experience published by
Harper Collins. Kai has been interviewed regularly by national media
including Vice, The Today Show, Teen Vogue and Good Housekeeping.
Her open letter to “Adults in Charge” was published in Elle Magazine
March 8, 2022.