Virtual Opening Plenary by Monique Gray Smith 

Indigenous Kid-Lit Novelist, Bestselling author 

“Making the Invisible Visible”
In this informative and inspiring keynote, Monique will share strategies on supporting students in understanding the truths of the land and country they are studying in. But this begins with us. What do you know about the truth of Indigenous people where you live and teach? What are the lived and historical experiences and the impact of colonization? This may require us to embark on, reignite or deepen our own learning journey of the truth, resilience and resurgence taking place. We may need to make visible to ourselves our own implicit biases. Through our time together, Monique will share readings from her books. As well, she will provide strategies for connecting to the land, water and all living beings in the area where you live and how you connect students with these critical teachers in their journey as students studying abroad.

Monique Gray Smith is a proud mom of teenage twins, an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Monique’s most recent novel, Tilly and the Crazy Eights was long listed for Canada Reads 2021. 

Monique has 7 books ranging for readers across the life span. These include Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation; My Heart Fills with Happiness, You Hold Me Up, Lucy and Lola, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience and recently released, When We Are Kind. 

Released in Fall 2022 is the Young Adult adaptation of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, with illustrations by Nicole Neidhardt. As well, a new picture book I Hope, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. Monique’s books are used to share wisdom, knowledge, hope and the important teaching that love is medicine. 

Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 30 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. 

Seattle Opening Plenary by Dr. Anu Taranath

Award-Winning Speaker, Facilitator, Author and Educator specializing in issues of racial equity and social change

“Mindful Travel in an Unequal World”
As education abroad professionals, we know that travel is a powerful tool. Our journeys to lands different than what we know can broaden our horizons, push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and further our quest to become global citizens. While travel abroad can provide much-needed perspective, it can also be deeply unsettling, confusing, and discomforting. How might we think or speak about the differences in race, culture and resources we find, even though these differences might have fueled our desire to travel in the first place?

Anu TaranathJoin Dr. Anu Taranath for an interactive presentation on how we can address the dynamics of power and privilege to deepen our understanding of race, access, inequality and social justice.

Dr. Anu is a speaker, author, educator, and racial equity consultant who partners with a range of people to deepen conversations on history, harm and healing. A University of Washington Seattle professor for the past 20+ years, Dr. Anu knows that the most compelling conversations on race, identity, power, and belonging take place when people feel valued and heard. Her book Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World won several book awards including Newsweek’s “Future of Travel Award in Storytelling” and Washington State Book Award finalist, and was named one of Oprah Magazine’s “26 Best Travel Books of All Times.”

For more on Dr. Anu and her work, please visit