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2017 Widening the Lens: The Far Brook School Diversity Conference

On Saturday, November 11, twelve NJ independent schools came to Far Brook and together we explored this year's conference topic: LGBTQ+: Illuminating the Spectrum and Cultivating Pride. Participating schools worked collaboratively to understand the issues at hand, and then independently to craft an action plan for their school. Below, please enjoy the slideshow from this powerful day. If you would like information about Far Brook's Diversity Conference, please email WTLchairs@farbrook.org. 


The focus of Widening the Lens 2017 is LGBTQ+: Illuminating the Spectrum and Cultivating Pride. The unique structure of this conference invites attending schools to assemble a "pod" of individuals, each of whom can play a role in advancing the diversity discussion at their school. Pods consist of two participants from each of seven constituencies: students, parents, teachers, administrators, diversity coordinators, alumni, and members of the Board of Trustees. Powerful learning and growth happen when we bring together this cross-section of voices and perspectives that exist within our own schools and share our challenges, experiences, and best practices with colleagues from peer schools.


Charles M. Blow is an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times where his column appears on Thursdays and Mondays. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such as social justices, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Mr. Blow is also a CNN commentator and a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale, where he teaches a seminar on media and politics.

Mr. Blow is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones. The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.”

Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. Mr. Blow went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had worked at The Detroit News.

Mr. Blow graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in mass communications, and he holds an honorary doctorate from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He lives in Brooklyn and has three children.

Mikki Murphy, mmurphy@farbrook.org
Haruka Mori, hmori@farbrook.org
Jennifer Haakmat, jhaakmat@farbrook.org

Click the image for the Conference Schedule.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 6:30-8:00 PM
Evening Discussion for Far Brook Parents
With Dr. Stephanie Sasso 

To kick off our Widening the Lens Diversity Conference, New Jersey psychologist Dr. Stephanie Sasso led an informative discussion with parents, focusing on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, the importance of creating environments where students can be their authentic selves, and effective ways to support LGBTQ+ students and families.

Dr. Sasso has spent the past seven years of her practice working with LGBTQ+ adolescents and adults, by providing “…a safe, knowledgeable environment for LGBTQ+-spectrum clients and families…”, and has provided two well-received professional development opportunities for Far Brook faculty this year. Dr. Sasso also joined us for the WTL Conference, where she helped facilitate the student group.

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