Diversity, Equity, Community
“Building community requires truth-telling, bravery, courage, and grace.”
-Nikki Young, PhD, Bucknell University
Far Brook's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice
Diversity, equity, and a commitment to social justice are central to Far Brook’s identity, community, and educational mission. Embracing our society’s broad range of experiences, perspectives, and ways of being and knowing creates the best learning environment for students and the most enriching community. As an independent, progressive school, Far Brook recognizes the complexity of its relationship to privilege. We expect of our community members — including our students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and families — a clear commitment to:
- Intentionally build and support the diversity of our community and authentic relationships across identities and experiences. This fosters academic excellence, enriches student learning, and increases understanding. Far Brook promotes representation, diversity, and inclusion through curriculum development, admissions, hiring, professional development and leadership, student and parent groups, and events for the broader community.
- Learn about all forms of oppression and fiercely defend the humanity of all people. We prioritize anti-racism, recognizing that racism has been a systemic barrier in education and society. Far Brook teachers develop curricula for all ages that explore essential questions about identity, family, community, power, and justice, providing mirrors for students’ own experiences and windows into the lives of others.
- Acknowledge privilege, name social inequities, and confront biases and historical misrepresentations. Our choices, from what and how we teach, to the ways we engage with each other, to where we allocate resources, aim to bolster students’ sense of agency, advance equity and social justice, and promote a sense of belonging for all.
- Support, in word and deed, partnerships with the broader community in ways that promote solidarity. This includes projects that respond to needs in the community, inspire action in situations of injustice, and strengthen our connection to the world beyond Far Brook.
Our community members think critically, speak their truths, and nurture caring, respect, and mindfulness. Far Brook believes in our shared humanity and equips our students to imagine and create a world where equity, empathy, and kindness prevail.
–Approved by the Board of Trustees, 2020
Widening the Lens: The Far Brook School Diversity Conference
In November of 2016, Far Brook hosted the first annual Diversity Conference for independent schools in NJ. Titled “Widening the Lens,” the conference brings together 13 school communities committed to broadening and improving inclusion within their schools.
The topic of the 2020 conference is “Lift Every Voice: Centering the Student Experience in Building Anti-Racist Communities.” Learn more here.
See information on Widening the Lens conferences from recent years.
Spectrum - A Social Justice Discussion Group for Students
Spectrum is an after school activity that provides students in Grades 6-8 an opportunity to engage in conversations about social justice, personal experiences, learn about history, and discuss current events. Gatherings are once a month during the school year, from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. There is no charge for this activity.
At Far Brook, we take pride in the fact that our students are learning in a community of peers from many walks of life. As expressed in our Diversity Statement, we believe that being intentional about diversity provides a platform for students to understand, to thrive in, and to impact our multi-cultural society.
To help navigate the complexity of living and learning in a diverse community, and to provide a safe space for dialogue, we developed Spectrum, an after school program for students in grades Six, Seven, and Eight. Any student who is interested in discussing or learning more about race, equity, and social justice is invited and encouraged to attend.
Spectrum provides students with an opportunity to engage in conversations about personal experiences, learn about history, and discuss current events. Sometimes, during a Spectrum gathering, students meet in smaller, self-identified “affinity groups” with a facilitator. We always come back together before we depart to share thoughts and to emphasize community. Supported by caring faculty and administration, and with the objective of fostering community and inclusion, students enjoy a safe space to discuss important topics, develop strategies, and affirm identity.
Our vibrant community is one of the highlights of the Far Brook experience and we celebrate the rich array of backgrounds, families, neighborhoods, and cultures represented. We look forward to many enlightening, productive, and courageous conversations with your children throughout the year.
Family Photo Project
In 2015, the Faculty/Staff Diversity Committee envisioned and launched an initiative to show the spectrum of families at Far Brook: large families, small families, those with two parents or one, two moms or two dads, families blended through marriage, formed through adoption, and all other expressions. Through the Family Photo Project, the racial and cultural diversity among and within families was also made visible, each unique configuration reinforcing our understanding that families are made of people who love and care for one another.
Families are made of love.
In 2018-2019 we once again created the Family Photo Project to celebrate the beautiful mosaic that is our current community.
Speakers and Workshops
Updated list coming soon.
Far Brook Diversity Facts - 2020-2021
- Information to come for the upcoming school year.