Widening the Lens 2023

The Far Brook School Diversity Conference


We are thrilled to announce that our eighth annual Widening the Lens diversity conference for NJ independent schools will be held on Saturday, November 18*. This year, our conference topic is “Community: The Power of Empathy in Action” and we look forward to coming together to create new connections, strengthen existing bonds, and share strategies.

Many organizations, from schools to corporations, embrace the goal of building community to maximize productivity, retention, and overall member satisfaction. In independent schools we aspire to ensure that each person feels a true sense of belonging because we know that this creates the best learning environment for students and prepares them to be engaged citizens in life.

Our keynote speaker this year is acclaimed author, Charles Vogl, and we look forward to the insights to be gained from his extensive research. In his book, The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging, he describes a community as “a group of individuals who share a mutual concern for one another’s welfare.” What a worthwhile and worthy aspiration for our schools and for society.

Participating schools will work together on November 18 to identify action steps that enable us to cultivate strong communities that nurture caring, collaborative, and empowered future leaders.

*Please note date change from November 11

Keynote Speaker – Charles Vogl

We are pleased to welcome Charles Vogl as the 2023 Widening the Lens Conference Keynote Speaker.

Charles is an adviser, speaker, and writer on leadership and creating community. His first book – the international bestseller The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging – explored how to grow “enduring, effective, and connected communities” and won the Nautilus Silver Award for Business and Leadership.

His work reflects a calling to help leadership create a culture of belonging. Drawing on three thousand years of spiritual traditions, Charles teaches the wisdom and principles to build deep community and resilient relationships that foster innovation and integrity within organizations and around the world. He holds an M.Div. from Yale, where he studied spiritual traditions, ethics, and business as a Jesse Ball duPont Foundation scholar.


2023 Conference Leadership

Mikki Murphy
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Community

Conference Structure

The unique structure of this conference follows the format of the Dalton School Diversity Conference (NYC), designed by Pollyanna Inc., a nonprofit devoted to increasing racial understanding. We invite schools to register a “pod” of individuals who will work together to advance the diversity and inclusion goals of their school. Each school pod consists of the Head of School, and two participants from each of seven constituencies:

  • Administrators
  • Alumni
  • Diversity Practitioners
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Trustees

Powerful learning and growth happen when we bring together this cross-section of voices and perspectives that exist within our own communities, and when we share our challenges, experiences, and best practices with colleagues from peer schools.