Explore BFS at Our April Open House

These exciting professional learning institutes—hosted at Brooklyn Friends School—will provide a much-needed space for concentrated, cohort-style learning for educators. The purpose of this new venture is to provide a dynamic space for educators and professionals from various industries working in the education and youth development realms to learn and grow in their roles and professional journeys and to become change agents in ways that can positively transform their communities, and the world.

This summer, we will focus on three institutes. You can click on each institute to learn more and register:

2023 BFS Summer Institutes

June 21 – 23

Join us this summer for one of our debut cohorts—Power Practice Privilege: Whiteness and the Path to Social Justice. In this Institute, we will come together to engage in a curriculum designed to explore, examine, and employ the complexities of what it means to be a white educator in our communities. Together, we will unpack the realities, dynamics, and uses of our white privilege. We will develop a set of best practices to honor, uphold, and further our mission as equity and social educators within our organizations. Join us on a journey toward expanding upon our strengths as partners, community builders, and co-conspirators.

This critical program is for faculty, staff, and newly appointed administrators who serve schools or non-profits, identify as white, and are looking to examine their understanding and practice. Please arrive with an open mind and an open heart, ready to discuss ideas, share tools, and dive deep into practice.


June 28-30

What makes a leader good—or even great? That is what the LGBTQIA+ Aspiring Leaders Institute is all about. As leaders, do we possess qualities that inherently make us good or bad leaders, or are these learned skills? How do the ways in which we identify, influence the ways in which we lead and the decisions we make? In this three-day program, we will explore the answers to these questions and many more. Join us in learning how your LGBTQ identity influences your personal leadership style, and what it means to lead authentically. Explore the meaning of effective communication, various ways to manage conflict—both internal and external—the difference between leading versus managing, and how to manage change as a leader. In addition, this is an opportunity to grow a powerful network of individuals who can help support you and accelerate your career.

Who Should Attend?
Any aspiring leader who identifies as LGBTQ working in the education or non-profit space.


August 2 – 4

For years schools have been faced with finding different solutions to dealing with behavioral issues that will inevitably occur. Historically, the way of dealing with these issues in schools very much mirrors our criminal justice system which includes, identifying the issue, determining who the victim and perpetrator are, and determining and delivering appropriate punishment for the perpetrator based on the severity of the situation. While some may argue that this approach is effective, others may suggest that the punitive nature ignores any learning that might take place and doesn’t even factor in the experience of the victim and how they move on. That is where the Restorative Justice and Practices: Strengthening Relationships institute will come into play.

In this three-day experience, we will explore the engagement of restorative practice as a focus on building community through the power of circles, looking at classrooms as communities, co-creating agreements, engaging authentic presence and communication with the emphasis on relationships, understanding, and empathizing in community. In this experience, we move from one and done behavior support to growth and reflection on a continuum within community. This institute will center a reciprocal practice which engages the practitioner and circle facilitator as well as the participants of the circle in practical application scenarios and reflection.

Who Should Attend?
Anyone working in youth centered or human service education or non-profit space.


Brooklyn Friends School has partnered with the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, located just steps from the school. For special rates, CLICK HERE.

Why Did BFS Create These Institutes?

Brooklyn Friends School is not—and has never been—a follower, that much is crystal clear. For nearly 155 years, the school has set its own high standards, created its milestones, and lived its brightest light. BFS is now poised and ready to use its steady footprint in the work of social impact and social justice to inform the growth of educators and leaders—not just in Brooklyn and in New York City, but throughout the nation and around the world. Due to our focused commitment to equity and justice, our school is now able to successfully extend beyond our walls and campuses—literally and in spirit.

To that end, we are excited to announce the launch of the Brooklyn Friends School Institutes for Justice and Transformational Change. The purpose of this new venture will be to provide a space for educators and professionals from various industries working in the youth development world, as well in spaces aiming to cultivate belonging-centric communities that align with our own mission and principles, to be continuous learners and change agents as they grow in their roles and careers. The ability to have intersectional dialogue and ideation that aims to literally address the ills of the world through deepened and earnest engagement with youth, will allow for learning opportunities that are critical for positive global transformation. These opportunities  will also help to nurture future leaders as they explore their own unique and varied paths to leadership in education and other fields.

“It has been my experience working in the area of professional development for almost 20 years that strong and effective development opportunities are hard to come by,” said Jay Rapp, BFS’ Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives and Alumni Relations and the former Vice President of Professional Development at NAIS. “Programs that nurture and grow individuals personally and professionally, that convene a cohort of people that become new friends and colleagues, and most importantly, are led by experts in the field that act not only as teachers but as facilitators and mentors as well, are unique and can create monumental change.”

The goal of all of the institutes that will be offered is extremely simple and direct—to provide transformational learning opportunities and experiences that work to evolve one’s professional practices in ways that challenge the status quo in service to our youth, who will inherit and lead as changemakers in our world. Our goal is for them to create a positive social impact for themselves and for others..

The Institutes for Justice and Transformational Change embrace a cohort model. These state-of-the-art professional development offerings, led by experts in their field, will allow for capacity building, collaborative exploration and design of ideas, relationship building, and all will culminate in a series of powerful action plans that can be put to immediate practice.

Due to BFS’ commitment to inclusivity and access, we are committed to providing programming that is reasonable, affordable, and accessible to all. We have been designing this utilizing our resources, reach, and relationships to create a learning platform that will reduce the access gap to quality educational tools for educators and youth development professionals. Simultaneously, these institutes will take place right here in our Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood, allowing all participants to experience our dynamic urban landscape as a part of their learning and growth.

We look forward to welcoming all participants to our community this summer!