Our Strategic Vision

BFS Institutes

After the successful launch of the Institutes for Justice and Transformational Change this past summer, Brooklyn Friends School is proudly hosting a full slate of three in-person institutes that will take place in the spring and summer of 2024.

2024 Institutes

  • Power, Practice, Privilege: Whiteness and the Path to Social Justice, is scheduled to take place from April 12–15. During this dynamic four-day event, we invite educators from around the country to come together as a cohort 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, the group will unpack the realities, dynamics, and uses of our white privilege. It will develop a set of best practices to honor, uphold, and further our mission as equity and social educators within our organizations. We invite you to 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. Register now.


  • LGBTQ+ Aspiring Leadership Institute, which will be held June 27–29, with exact dates to be announced soon. This program is for any aspiring leader who identifies as LGBTQ+ working in the education or non-profit space. In this three-day program, participants 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. 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, participants will explore the answers to these questions and many more. 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. Register Now.


  • Restorative Justice Using Restorative Practices: Strengthening Relationships institute, which will be held July 31–August 2. 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. 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 Using Restorative Practices: Strengthening Relationships institute will come into play.  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. Anyone working in youth centered, human service, education and/or non-profit space should attend this institute. Register Now.

    For more information, contact Jay Rapp.

Power, Practice, Privilege Faculty

This powerful program was originally conceptualized by BFS Head of School, Crissy Cáceres, and envisioned and facilitated by BFS Head of Lower School Jason Novak and Georgetown Day School’s Peg Shultz. This year, Jason will serve as lead facilitator and will guide participants, along with facilitator, Rachel Maldonado, through this transformational experience. Ali Michael will also be joining the program sharing her countless years of research and experience on this important topic.

Jason Novak

For the past four years, Jason has been the Head of Lower School at Brooklyn Friends School. Jason also facilitates work in the areas of white identity, white affinity, diversity, and inclusion, and has served as a member of the faculty for the NAIS School Leadership Institute. At the 2023 NAIS Annual Conference, Jason served on a panel called The Upsides and Downsides of ‘Middle Management’. The workshop featured experienced independent school leaders from across the country, explaining how to hold space for middle management leaders in schools. The panel was a part of a series of four leadership panels held throughout the conference, and focused on those either holding management positions, or are hoping to move to that area. Following that, he was part of a panel of Quaker independent school educators at the Multicultural Resource Center @ ADVIS Conference. Jason’s panel was entitled, Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Students: Policy, Program, Professional Development, and Community Preparation. Prior to arriving at BFS, Jason served as the Director of Primary School, K-5 at the Lowell School in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Rachel Maldonado

Dr. Rachel Maldonado has worked with children, families and communities as a psychologist for more than 20 years across a variety of settings including schools, community centers, hospitals, and private practice. She has facilitated workshops on many topics related to mental health, wellbeing, identity development, and parenting, with audiences that include parents, educators, medical professionals, and students. Rachel has a deep commitment to anti bias and anti racist work. She brings a dialectical perspective into all aspects of her work, holding both the need for acceptance and for change in people and systems. Rachel has enjoyed working at Brooklyn Friends School since 2015, first as the Lower School Psychologist and in recent years also as the All School Wellbeing Coordinator. She also maintains a small private practice working mainly with teens, young adults, and parents. Rachel received her undergraduate degree at Brown University with a double concentration in Education and Psychology, and earned a Doctoral degree in School and Clinical Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband (a teacher and author) and teenage daughter, and enjoys dancing, walks in Prospect Park, yoga, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. 

Dr. Ali Michael

As the Co-Director of the Race Institute for K-12 Educators, Dr. Ali Michael works with schools and organizations across the country to help make research on race, Whiteness, and education more accessible and relevant to educators. In the Fall of 2022, Ali released her two most recent publications, including Our Problem, Our Path: Collective Anti-racism for White People, co-authored with Dr. Eleonora Bartoli (Corwin, 2022). Her other new release is the young adult adaptation of White Fragility, co-adapted with Toni Graves Williamson, entitled White Fragility: Why Understanding Racism Can be so Hard for White People (Beacon Press, 2022). Ali sits on the editorial board of the journal Whiteness and Education. She teaches in the Diversity and Inclusion Program at Princeton University and the Equity Institutes for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. When she is not writing, speaking, or training, Ali is striving to be an anti-racist co-parent to two amazing kids.

Restorative Justice Faculty

Dr. AnaMaria Correa

Dr. AnaMaria Correa is a longtime administrative leader in arts and school spaces for the work of equity, access & joy. She has been BFS’ Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging since 2021, and is an all-school senior leadership team member. In 2023, she facilitated BFS’ first institute. Before arriving at BFS, AnaMaria served as Miami City Ballet’s Chief Community Engagement Officer. In her role, AnaMaria bridged, deepened and cultivated relationships between MCB and the arts, culture, education and local communities ensuring that constituencies have access to, and claim a place for themselves, at MCB. In her role as a “bridge builder” she is also a “conscience raiser,” leading efforts of equity and inclusion practices and competencies for the organization. In her previous role as the director of community engagement and inclusion at Avenues: The World School, she spearheaded the practice of community engagement ethics and program partnerships as well as being the founding DEI practitioner establishing cultural competency strategies for an inclusive school community. At Ballet Hispanico she held a dual role as the senior director of community engagement and the director for their accredited school of dance. AnaMaria earned her Ph.D in Urban Education from City University of New York, her MFA from Brooklyn College, her BA from Hunter College, and her AA from Queensborough Community College.