2021 Student Orientation Closing Keynote Speakers: Beth Applewhite, Kenneth Headley and James Morton

“A Candid Conversation About Racial Equity: Using a Cultural Humility Lens”

Our team advocates for honest discourse, diverse voice, and an increased awareness of dominant culture, and the need to face both explicit and implicit biases. For two years, we have been providing equity presentations and training, across the Metro Vancouver area, for school and district staff and administrators, senior management and trustees, university and college faculty, parent groups and the RCMP. We use our lived experiences to inform our practice and enlighten participants about the long-reaching effects of discrimination.

Our presentations and workshops are explicit, thought provoking and interactive. We do not shame and blame; instead we meet participants where they are at with compassion and understanding. We move beyond definitions and awareness to honest personal reflection and authentic personal goals. Our team creates safe and brave spaces for participants to reflect on their blind spots, share experiences and “try on” new perspectives. Participant voice will be encouraged, appreciated, and respected.

We look forward to walking alongside UBC teacher candidates as we learn and grow together.

Student Orientation
Thursday, September 2, 2021
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Student Orientation Schedule


Beth Applewhite is the acting District Principal of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with the Burnaby School District. BC-born and raised, Beth is a bi-racial educator of Trinidadian and Scottish heritages. She has been unrelenting in her determination to challenge the status quo and create equitable experiences and spaces that both acknowledge racial bias and celebrate personal and cultural identities. Beth recognizes that most folks value diversity, equity and inclusion. The challenge is encouraging them to be vulnerable enough to explore and reflect on their own biases, practices and rituals that contribute to school/district culture. Beth has been recognized for her work, including the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Community Achievement Award (2019). She was nominated for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award (2020) and has been nominated for a Premier’s Award in Education (2020/2021). She has also been named one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women (2020/2021).


Kenneth Headley is the District Vice Principal of Racial Inclusivity and Equity in the Maple Ridge School District. He is also a Vice Principal at Maple Ridge Secondary. He is a bi-racial educator of South Asian and Black Caribbean heritages. An educator for over 12 years, Kenneth has been an advocate for marginalized students, their families and their communities. In collaboration with Beth Applewhite and James Morton, he has focused on providing meaningful opportunities to discuss issues of inequity and racial discrimination with students, faculty and staffs. Kenneth completed his Bachelor of General Studies in Canadian Studies and Sociology at SFU. He completed his BEd at SFU as well as his master’s degree in Educational Practice, looking at integrating cultural narratives. Kenneth has been a moderator on #bcedchat for six years moderating conversations on race. Kenneth taught in Surrey for 9 years before becoming a Vice-Principal in Maple Ridge. He also has many years of experience instructing the Real Estate Council of British Columbia UBC Real Estate and Sub Mortgage Broker Courses for local real estate/tutorial companies. He is also a professional musician, having studied music at the Historical Black University (HBCU) Florida Memorial University and toured extensively throughout Canada, the US and many Caribbean Islands.


James Morton is a bi-racial educator of South Asian and English/Scottish heritages who has a genuine passion for Equity. He is a school-based secondary administrator in the Burnaby School District. James graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2001. He has been an educator and educational leader for 20 years. James earned his Master of Education Degree at SFU in 2011 with a focus on the power of resiliency. James was recognized in February 2019 by the Canadian National Congress of Black Women with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also recognized by Premier John Horgan for being a trailblazer in his work supporting BIPOC youth and their families. He believes racism is one of the most serious problems facing schools today. He advocates for honest discourse, community voice, and increased awareness amongst people in all sectors of society.