Seminar Series

Transracial Adoptees


Tuesday, January 21

6:30 to 8:00 pm

Cambridge Friends School | 5 Cadbury Road, Cambridge, MA


Join us for a panel discussion with transracial adoptees. Adult transracial adoptees from independent schools will tell their story and provide time for questions and answers. This is a chance to learn how to support transracial adoptees and families and make their experience in schools and communities as inclusive as possible.


Polly Williams

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Cambridge Friends School (Cambridge, MA)


Polly is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Cambridge Friends School (CFS). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Slippery Rock University. Polly also holds a Master of Social Work degree from Simmons College. During the summer, Polly helps run Farm and Wilderness’s Barn Day Camp, a wilderness camp in Vermont that she has been involved with for 34 years. Prior to CFS, Polly has worked with youth and adults surrounding issues of equity and justice. 


Elena Pereira

Grade 5 Teacher

Charles River School (Dover, MA)


Elena brings her passion for and experience with multicultural curricula, diversity, and inclusion, and co-teaching to CRS. Elena received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Studies and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Lesley University. She recently completed the Shady Hill Teacher Training Program, and her prior experience includes work with early childhood and elementary students. 


Brad Belin

History Department Chair | Middle School Teaching Faculty – Grade 8

Berwick Academy (South Berwick, ME)


Brad is currently in his second year serving as the History Department Chair and Eighth-Grade Social Studies teacher at Berwick Academy. Prior to Berwick, he enjoyed seven years at the Fessenden School in West Newton, MA, as well as time at the Grace Episcopal Day School in Kensington, MD. He is an alumnus from both Shady Hill and the Rivers Schools. A self-identified “AAA,” (Adopted Asian American), Brad was born in Seoul, South Korea. When he was just 5 months old, Brad was adopted and grew up in Cambridge in a transracial household. Today, Brad currently resides in Kennebunk, ME with his multiracial family that includes his wife, Sarah, and their three children: Madison (6) Hannah (4) and Connor (1.5).


Starleisha Gingrich 

Upper School Administrative Assistant 

Lancaster Country Day School (Lancaster, PA)


Starleisha is in her second year as the Upper School Administrative Assistant at Lancaster Country Day School. Last year, she helped guide the school community through the NAIS Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism. She is also the faculty supervisor of the first LCDS Black Student Union, and this month she has started a Transracial Adoptees Affinity Group. Starleisha is involved in her community, chiefly by co-hosting a podcast on a Black-owned network, The Cultured Professional. Starleisha was adopted at age 7 and has journeyed through the world as an adoptee. She jumps at the chance to speak with other transracial adoptees and their parents. 


Tina Fox

Lower Division Assistant Head

The Park School (Brookline, MA)


Tina serves as the Lower Division Assistant Head at The Park School. She previously served as a grade level teacher, member of the diversity leadership team, and SEED facilitator at Belmont Day School. Tina earned degrees from Bowdoin College and Wheelock College before beginning a career in independent schools as an associate teacher at Cambridge Friends School. Tina has had a variety of experiences in independent schools including, teaching, mentoring, serving as a board member, and as a parent.

This seminar is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the New England Yearly Meeting Future Fund administered by the Legacy Gift Committee.


Seminar: Our Deepest Concerns Panel ImageOn Wednesday, October 16, 2019, CFS hosted its first Seminar Series of the school year, Our Deepest Concerns: A Conversation on Antiracism in America. This author talk featured five distinguished panelists: Princeton professor and author, Imani Perry (CFS Class of ’86), historian, Kerri Greenidge (CFS Class of ’00), novelist and writer, Kaitlyn Greenidge, and award-winning playwright, Kirsten Greenidge (CFS Class of ’88, P’21 and P’23) in conversation with Jack Hill, Head of CFS Middle School and Assistant Head for External Affairs. Click here to view the video archive of the livestreaming of this event.


This seminar was supported by HowlRound Theater Commons at Emerson College and in part by a grant from the New England Yearly Meeting Future Fund administered by the Legacy Gift Committee.


Each year, Cambridge Friends School hosts a series of speakers, performances, and discussions in two tracts: diversity, equity, and inclusion, and modern parenting issues. Past engagements include Oprah Book Club author Darnell Moore speaking about his book No Ashes in the Fire, New York Times bestselling author Robin DiAngelo speaking about her book White Fragility, Dan Levine from Engaging Minds speaking about executive functioning in students, and Patricia Lotterman, LMHP speaking about managing anxiety in students. To join the Seminar Series mailing list, please email