GLARE (GLBTQ Advocacy in Research and Education) is a group of faculty and staff in the School of Education at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, committed to the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or gender nonconforming children and youth. As educators preparing the next generation of socially-conscious teachers and school professionals, GLARE devotes itself to research on queer issues and the development of anti-oppressive pedagogical approaches.
In its eight-year history as a group of gay and allied faculty, GLARE hosted numerous educational events on its campus, including theatrical performances, guest speakers, film series and panel presentations. GLARE’s hope is that the thousands of students affected by these educational events turn-key their growing awareness of inclusive practices to create safe schools and safe streets for all children.
In preparing workshops over the years, GLARE has often drawn on the rich resources provided by New York City’s theater community. Since 2006, Robb Leigh Davis, the director/actor/playwright, has been an anchor of GLARE’s work in affective education, presenting numerous original theatrical pieces for students at Brooklyn College and elsewhere. It is with pride that GLARE is able to have Robb Leigh Davis collaborate with us at the 16th Annual Shepard Symposium for Social Justice.
Robb Leigh Davis is a New York-based writer, producer, director, and performer. He is the creator and host of the performance series, MEDITATION ON A THEME, a program of Blakkaprikorn Productions, and co-producer/host of the variety series, TAKIN U BACK. His plays include The Glam Factor, The Homosexual Agenda, CYCLES, and AMERICANBLACKOUT - the latter of which was presented as part of the Dixon Place HOT! Festival and the New York International Fringe Festival. His soul/R&B extended-play album, Things That I've Seen, was released in 2012. A graduate of the Syracuse University Department of Drama, Robb has appeared in productions of A Chorus Line, Macbeth, Corpus Christi, Mixt Fruit & Assorted Nuts, and the original off-Broadway revival of A Soldier’s Play. He has appeared in numerous short films, including the horror shorts A Far Cry From Home and Contact, and directed the one-woman shows, Seeing the Glass, starring comedienne Jenn Wehrung, and White America Hero, starring Erica Bradshaw. He has worked as a postproduction supervisor on programs for HBO, ESPN & ABC Sports, as a teaching artist in NYC public schools, grades K-12, and was co-producer of Future Now NYC, an arts & technology conference for creative teenagers, sponsored by the NYC Department of Education. He was commissioned by Brooklyn College for two performance pieces, In The Eyes of God and Intolerable, and was a selected playwright for the Tectonic Theater Project’s LGBT Theater Artists of Color Training Lab. "In an era when post-gay & post-Black are being championed, I remain presently Black and consistently gay. My creativity is born out of the experience of living in a world that continually asks me to choose one identity over another. For me this is an impossibility." For more information meet me on the web at www.robbleighdavis.com or www.meditationonatheme.com.
María R. Scharrón-del Río, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and the Program Coordinator of the School Counseling Program in the Department of School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership (SPCL) at Brooklyn College City University of New York. Dr. Scharron-del Rio received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, and completed her clinical internship with the Harvard Medical School in Boston. She is an active leader in GLARE (GLBTQ Advocacy in Research and Education) since joining the Brooklyn College faculty in 2006. She is committed to the development of multicultural competencies in counselors, psychologists, and educators, using experiential and affective educational approaches. Dr. Scharron-del Rio’s research, scholarship, and advocacy focuses on ethnic and cultural minority psychology and education, including multicultural competencies, LGBTQ issues, gender non-conformity, mental health disparities, spirituality, resiliency, and well-being.
Florence Rubinson, Ph.D., is a professor and Chairperson of the Department of School Psychology, Counseling and Leadership as well as a founding member of GLARE (GLBTQ Advocacy for Research and Education) at Brooklyn College. Through involvement in GLARE, Professor Rubinson continues to lead numerous advocacy and research initiatives on queer education and awareness. Scholarly and research interests include educators’ advocacy for LGBTQ youth in schools, collaborative environments and their relationship to school reform, systems models that produce positive growth in student performance while fostering social justice with specific emphasis on the LGBTQ youth.
Herman Jiesamfoek, Ed.D. is Assistant Professor at the School of Education, Brooklyn College, City University New York. A professional dancer who performed with the top ballet companies of Europe and America, Dr. Jiesamfoek subsequently taught dance in all five boroughs of New York City. After completing his doctoral studies in Art Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. Jiesamfoek conducted extensive research on the impact of globalization on the artistic practices of the indigenous peoples of Suriname. He is currently a faculty member of the Early Childhood and Art Education Department at Brooklyn College and an active member of GLARE (GLBTQ Advocacy in Research and Education).
Paul McCabe, Ph.D., NCSP, is a Professor of School Psychology in the Department of School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Dr. McCabe received his Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University. Dr. McCabe is a certified school psychologist, licensed psychologist, and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). He has consulted at the national and state level on best practices in training in school psychology, especially in the area of social justice and LGBT rights. Dr. McCabe conducts and publishes research that focuses on training educators to advocate for and prevent harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth.
Eliza A. Dragowski, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School Psychology Program in Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Her research interests include psychological consequences of traumatic experiences and issues of social justice, especially as they are applied to underrepresented groups of children and youth. Eliza’s Dr. Dragowski’s past research examined the relationship between sexual orientation victimization and trauma symptoms among gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. Her current research concentrates on: 1) the educators’ willingness and ability to advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in their schools; 2) gender stereotypes/construction of gender among children and in schools. Dr. Dragowski’s been a member of GLARE since 2008.
Wayne A. Reed, Ed.D., is an educator/activist whose teaching and scholarship seeks to contribute to the fight for social justice. As co-founder and chair of GLARE (GLBTQ Advocacy in Research and Education), Dr. Reed advocates for the development of affective educational strategies which confront homophobia and lead to the creation of safe spaces for himself and others. Concurrently, Dr. Reed’s research in community teaching examines the impact of poverty in urban classrooms and contradicts deficit-laden approaches to urban school reform. Holding a doctorate in Religion and Education from Columbia University, Dr. Reed intersects his academic background, his autobiography, and his engagement of faith and spirituality, to challenge the cultural/religious ideologies that oppress LGBTQ youth. Dr. Reed is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Childhood, Bilingual and Special Education and currently leads the Out and Proud 2015 Campaign at Brooklyn College.