2016 Widening the Lens: The Far Brook School Diversity Conference
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2016
Welcome to Widening the Lens: The Far Brook School Diversity Conference! Twelve New Jersey independent schools joined us on Saturday, November 12, to explore ways to "widen the lens" and build school communities committed to broadening and improving inclusion within their schools. Below, please enjoy the slideshow from this powerful day.
Dr. Howard C. Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, and former Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an expert on African-American psychology, family and parental engagement, effects of at-risk neighborhoods on youth, violence prevention, racial rejection, racial/ethnic socialization, bullying and community leadership development. Dr. Stevenson has served for thirty years as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.
Dr. Stevenson’s most recent book is Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference (Teachers College Press, 2013). Stevenson defines racial literacy as “the ability to read, recast, and resolve racially stressful social interactions” and believes that “the teaching of racial literacy skills protects students from the threat of internalizing negative stereotypes that undermine academic critical thinking, engagement, identity, and achievement.” He discusses how educators, community leaders and parents can resolve stressful face-to-face encounters that reflect racial profiling in public spaces, fuel disputes in neighborhoods, undermine students’ emotional well-being and jeopardize academic success.
“Racial storytelling is the first step toward racial literacy,” he writes. “In stories, we can relook at our roles, the information we were given, and question or research its authenticity. As each person shares his or her own story of racial micro-aggressions, he or she can begin to recast the racial politics of avoidance from one’s childhood. Storytelling of racial experiences, small and large, makes room for one to see the television, the neighborhood, the street corner, the supermarket, and the classroom as different contexts of social interactions.”
Dr. Stevenson directs Penn GSE’s Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), a research, program development, and training center that brings together community leaders, researchers, authority figures, families, and youth to study and promote racial literacy and health in schools and neighborhoods. In his work at the REC, Dr. Stevenson aims to recast racial narratives, recognize racial humanity, reconnect racial history, recover racial health, and record racial coping transformations.