North Jersey high school students gather for Teens Talk About Racism conference on May 20

North Jersey high school students gather for the 13th annual Teens Talk About Racism conference on Friday, May 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wilson Auditorium on the Hackensack campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. The conference theme is “Building Dialogue, Living Empathy.

Teens Talk About Racism is a one-day leadership conference for youth who want to create strategies to understand and stand up to racism in their schools and communities. Teens Talk brings youth leaders together in a safe forum to collaborate and lead school diversity work. Through activities that foster empathy and dialogue, students learn to recognize thought patterns that may be barriers to respectful communication. Moving from a place of deeper understanding, students return to their campuses to create action plans for a more inclusive school culture. There is no cost for participation. Beverages and lunch are provided.

The keynote speaker is Clinton L. Carbon, the Director of Multicultural Affairs at Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood.

Teens Talk About Racism is sponsored and organized by the Office of Global Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson, the Social Action Committee of Central Unitarian Church, and YWCA Bergen County. The conference is presented in memory and honor of Dr. Archie Lacey, a long-time civil rights and anti-racism advocate in Bergen County. 

The conference co-chairs are Theodora Lacey, a retired educator who dedicated her professional career to the children of Teaneck, and Maryann Woods-Murphy, the 2010 New Jersey Teacher of the Year and currently a Gifted and Talented Specialist in in Nutley.

For more information visit To register your high school, e-mail Annette Berger-Machac, Registrar, at or call 201-385-5285. Please provide the name of the school, the number of adult and student participants, and an e-mail contact.