Join us for a day of inspiration and learning!


Whether you are a parent, educator, therapist, grandparent, caregiver, or simply a caring adult, you know that it's more important -- and more challenging -- than ever to raise empathetic children in today's world. For 25 years as an independent children's book publisher, Barefoot Books has remained steadfast in our mission to create books that cultivate kindness in kids. This May, we're bringing together leaders from the most innovative and esteemed organizations in New Orleans for a day of discussion and community connection. We'll explore how diverse books, mindfulness, music and the arts can be our most powerful tools for raising the next generation of compassionate global citizens. 

Our one-day seminar includes: 

  • An interactive mindfulness workshop, informative panels and an inspiring keynote speech

  • Lunch

  • A gift bag

  • The opportunity to connect with local thought leaders from the Louisiana Children's Museum, Putumayo World Music, the Contemporary Art Center, the Community Book Center and KidsmART

Save your spot and REGISTER TODAY for the Raising Kind Kids in Today's World One-Day Seminar!


Seminar Sessions

Learn from local influencers and movers-and-shakers deeply involved in literacy, the arts and music. The Seminar Sessions will educate and inspire you as we look to celebrated local leaders who are finding innovative ways to raise a kinder generation of kids.




Diversity in Children's Publishing
Why are diverse and inclusive children's books a key ingredient for cultivating compassion? Gain fascinating insights from panelists who have devoted their careers to ensuring that children see themselves reflected in the books they read.

Education, Music and the Arts
Hear from industry leaders about the importance of music and the arts for children's overall development. Plus, you’ll hear anecdotes from NOLA leaders on how they have used art and music to build empathy in children.

Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit


Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit

Keynote Speaker: Mariana Sheppard, Contemporary Art Center 

Our keynote speaker, Mariana Sheppard, is an innovator in arts education and literacy, with a passion for integrating the arts into all children’s lives. Earlier in her career, Mariana implemented literacy initiatives with a focus on empowering underserved communities while spearheading Scholastic Inc.’s domestic and global philanthropic efforts. Since 2013, she has served as the Associate Director of Education and Public Programs at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, where she has reinforced the Center as the city’s premier cultural destination for contemporary art through K-12 and adult educational programming. Mariana received her B.A from Louisiana State University and holds an M.A. from Columbia University. 




Mindfulness Workshop
Discover what the mindfulness buzz is all about! Learn why mindfulness is so helpful for kids, and experience the benefits of mindfulness for yourself with mindfulness expert and author of Mindful Kids, Whitney Stewart.

Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit

Behind the Scenes at a Children's Book Publisher

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of how children's books that boost empathy are created! Plus, take a sneak peek into innovative new children's books and products in the Barefoot Books pipeline.


Additional Event Speakers and Panelists

Curious about the type of content that you'll receive when you attend the Raising Kind Kids in Today's World One-Day Seminar? Here are our extraordinary speakers and panelists:


Learn how mindfulness benefits children and experience mindfulness for yourself with Mindful Kids author Whitney Stewart! Whitney has trekked in a Himalayan snowstorm with Sir Edmund Hillary, climbed to remote Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, interviewed the Dalai Lama in India and sat for days in meditation retreats. She is the author of many travel articles, and of both fiction and nonfiction for children. When she is not writing or traveling, she teaches mindfulness and meditation to children and adults.
Barefoot Books | 2018 Summit
Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit


Passionate about preserving culture and heritage, Vera began the Community Book Center 35 years ago, with the goal of educating children about their surroundings and the world. Vera was inspired to begin sharing her personal reading collection when, as substitute teacher in the 1980s, she observed an absence of materials for African-American students that reflected their own experiences. The demand for such books grew along with her collection, and the Community Book Center, which is both a bookstore and a community center, was born. Vera was honored as a Top Female Achiever by New Orleans Magazine in 2010 and is a frequent speaker and panelist for area universities and organizations. Vera holds a BA in social work and will be earning her Master’s degree in Museum Studies this spring.

Meet Amy Kirk Duvoisin, Education Director at the Louisiana Children's Museum, to learn how to promote learning through play. Through her more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit and for-profit sectors, Amy has developed expertise in supporting the performing and literary arts, non-profit fundraising, community leadership, education, and grassroots organizing. In 2017, she was awarded as a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government for her cultural work in New Orleans over the past decade.

Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit
Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit

Come meet Dan Storper, Putumayo World Music founder, to learn how music can make a difference in children’s lives! For over 25 years, Dan’s vision to introduce people to other cultures through international music made Putumayo the first company to market world music broadly in non-traditional outlets such as museums and health food, book and children’s shops. Selling over 35 million CDs since its beginnings in 1993, Putumayo has stayed committed to helping the communities where the music originates and has led to the label to contributing more than a million dollars to worthwhile non-profit organizations around the world.



Jamaica founded JAMaROO Kids in 2004 after teaching preschool for 7.5 years and studying the performing arts since childhood. She currently leads a team of educators who specialize in creating and teaching developmentally appropriate enrichment programs for young children at over 130 schools, childcare centers and community venues throughout the Bay Area. Jamaica herself has taught over 10,000 classes to young children and has worked with over 100,000 children and families over the past 20+ years. Plus, Jamaica has been a Barefoot Books Ambassador for nearly a decade!

Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit
Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit 

Connect with Echo Olander, Executive Director of KID smART, an arts education nonprofit that engages children in dynamic, creative and rigorous learning through the arts. Echo has directed the vision and mission of the organization and manages the day-to-day work of the agency since its inception in 1999. KID smART currently serves as an arts education initiative serving more than 3,300 students and 700 teachers annually, and supporting city-wide arts education in New Orleans.



As a seasoned community organizer and later an attorney, Alli has supported others in sharing their stories to create change at a community level and policy level. She started sharing her own story when she and her wife, Jenn, were pregnant with their daughter, Anna. Alli wanted her marriage to be recognized, and she wanted families like hers represented in children’s books. As part of a grassroots effort to demand change in children’s publishing, Alli recently authored the M is for Movement blog article, "We Need Everyday Books with Families Like Ours: The State of Picture Book Offerings with Same-Sex-Parented Children." Alli earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her law degree from Georgetown Law.

Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit

Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit


In 2016, Karin became a single foster-adoptive mom to a 4-year-old boy. Finding diverse books for her new biracial son became one of her favorite and most important pastimes. Now, as a full-time Barefoot Books Ambassador, Karin helps preschools & elementary schools diversify their libraries. Karin distinguished herself by becoming a top sales performer within her first 9 months at Barefoot. Before becoming an Ambassador, Karin had established a career in nonprofit management, marketing & sales. She is fluent in Spanish. 



Join Barefoot Books Senior Editor and Author Kate DePalma to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning books and products are developed. Kate has helped create dozens of picture books for Barefoot, including The Barefoot Book of Children and My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words. At the 2018 Summit, you'll get an exclusive sneak peek into our new products in progress for Fall 2018 and beyond!


Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit 



Barefoot Books | Barefoot in the Big Easy 2018 Summit

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Barefoot Books, Nancy brings her insight and expertise to the 2018 Summit! Eternally dedicated to living Barefoot and sharing the stories that connect us, Nancy will inspire us with her take-aways from 25 years of perseverance and her vision for the company’s future.

Register NOW!

Your one-day pass includes lunch, refreshments and exclusive Barefoot goodies. Don't wait! Register now!

Raising Kind Kids in Today's World Seminar:
Wednesday, May 16, 9:00am - 3:00pm CST

General Admission: $30 USD
Access to all sessions on May 16, 2018, including lunch and a swag bag!

Barefoot Books | Kind Kids Seminar





Raising Kind Kids in Today's World 2018 One-Day Seminar


Wednesday, May 16, 2018:

  • 9:00am- Check-in & Registration 

  • 9:30amWelcome Message from Nancy Traversy

  • 9:45am - Keynote: Mariana Sheppard

  • 10:15am - Education, Music and the Arts Panel

  • 11:00am - Break

  • 11:15am- Diversity in Children's Publishing Panel

  • 12:15pm - Lunch

  • 1:00pm- Mindfulness Workshop

  • 1:45pm- Behind the Scenes at a Children's Book Publisher

  • 3:00pm - Author Book Signings 



All times are shown in CST. Agenda subject to change. 


About Barefoot Books

Children need diverse, inclusive and inspiring books.

This is what we’re all about. From the very beginning, our books have opened windows to other cultures and perspectives, while also providing children of all backgrounds and abilities with a much-needed mirror of their own experiences

We all want to raise the next generation to become global citizens who see the connections between all people, but who are also sensitive to the differences that make us unique. We invite you to browse our beautiful books, peruse our Manifesto of what it means to "live Barefoot" and discover all the ways in which you can join our movement to open hearts and minds through the power of stories.


Raising Kind Kids in Today's World | Barefoot Books




Raising Kind Kids
in Today's World
One-Day Seminar
Barefoot Books

May 16, 2018

Ace Hotel
600 Carondelet Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

One-day Pass:
Regular Price $50.00 USD
Special Price $30.00 USD