Diversity Conference aims to speak truth


Mike Harrington

The school’s first Diversity Conference will bring a noted keynote speaker to campus—as well as opportunities for student leadership.

Even as a young boy, Mr. Darnell L. Moore pushed himself to speak publicly. He remembers his first public speaking experience very clearly. He participated in a citywide poetry contest in his hometown of Camden, New Jersey and won an award at the venue. Years later, public speaking is a large part of his life.

On Sunday, March 18, a day themed on ‘Speaking Truth at Malvern Prep’ or [email protected], Moore will begin Malvern’s first Diversity Conference by delivering a keynote speech. His presentation will kick off a day described on Malvern’s website as a “personal and communal journey together to discover ourselves and our community.

Moore is a writer, public speaker, and teacher. He has spoken at a variety of places about topics like racial justice, gender equality, and manhood.

According to School Psychologist Dr. Dorothy Sayers, Moore will be a good fit for Malvern.

“We listened to a few of his TED talks. I really liked his message and he had the availability. So it just seem to fit. It’s what we were hoping for. It fits with our community,” she said.  

She thinks that his speech will do well at an Augustinian school and that his messages will be beneficial for our community.

“His message is very consistent with what we are as an Augustinian school. He talks about radical love and loving a person for who they are, and not trying to make them different than who they are,” Sayers said.

Moore says that if he had to pick one thing that he really focuses on during his speeches it would be communal transformation.

“If you want to change the world, you have to start with yourself. I like to remind people that we all have something to do in this process called communal transformation,” he said.

[learn_more caption=”Biography: Darnell Moore”]

Darnell Moore is Editor-at-Large at CASSIUS (an iOne digital platform) and formerly a senior editor and correspondent at Mic. He is co-managing editor at The Feminist Wire and writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University. Along with NFL player Wade Davis II, he co-founded YOU Belong, a social good company focused on the development of diversity initiatives.

Darnell’s advocacy centers on marginal identity, youth development and other social justice issues in the U.S. and abroad. He is the host of Mic’s digital series, “The Movement,” which was nominated for a Breakthrough Series: Short Form Award at the 2016 IFP Gotham Awards. He has led and participated in several critical dialogues including the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women; the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington National Panel on Race, Discrimination and Poverty, the 2012 Seminar on Debates on Religion and Sexuality at Harvard Divinity School, and as a member of the first U.S. delegation of LGBTQ leaders to Palestine in 2012.

A prolific writer, Darnell has been published in various media outlets including MSNBC, The Guardian, Huffington Post, EBONY, The Root, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Gawker, Truth Out, VICE, Guernica, Mondoweiss, Thought Catalog, Good Men Project and others, as well as numerous academic journals including QED: A Journal in GLBTQ World Making, Women Studies Quarterly, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology, Transforming Anthropology, Black Theology: An International Journal, and Harvard Journal of African American Policy, among others. He also edited the art book Nicolaus Schmidt: Astor Place, Broadway, New York: A Universe of Hairdressers (Kerber Verlag) and has published essays in several edited books.

Darnell has held positions of Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Yale Divinity School, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He is presently Writer-in-Residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexuality, and Social Justice at Columbia University. He has taught in the Women and Gender’s Studies and Public Administration departments at Rutgers University, Fordham University, City College of New York City and Vassar College. Darnell has also provided keynote addresses at Harvard University, Williams College, Stony Brook University, New Jersey City University, Stanford University, and the New School.

Darnell Moore received the 2012 Humanitarian Award from the American Conference on Diversity for his advocacy in the City of Newark, where he served as Chair of the LGBTQ Concerns Advisory Commission. He is the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Academic Leadership Award from Rutgers University LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center for his contributions to developing the Queer Newark Oral History Project. He received the 2013 Angel Award from Gay Men of African Descent and the 2014 Gentleman of the Year Award from the Gentlemen’s Foundation. He was listed as a one of Planned Parenthood’s Top 99 Dream Keepers in 2015, was featured in USA Today’s #InTheirOwnWords multimedia feature on Keynote Speaker Biography contemporary civil rights activists, was named among EBONY Magazine’s 2015 Power 100, Time Out New York’s Eight LGBT Influencers, Be Modern Man 100, and The Root 100 2016.

He assisted in organizing the Black Lives Matters Ride to Ferguson in the wake of Mike Brown’s tragic murder and along with Alicia Garza, Patrisee Cullors, and Opal Tometti (#BlackLivesMatter Co-Founders) developed the infrastructure for the BLM Network. He is soon to complete his first book, No Fire in the Ashes (The Nation Books).


Due to his high school experience, Moore possesses a unique perspective that he thinks will make his speech connect with Malvern students. He attended Mullica Hills Friends School in Gloucester County NJ,  a small private high school that with an enrollment that was primarily white.

“I think it may help you all to hear how someone who has gone through that process. What that experience has allowed me to think about education,” he said. “How it allowed me to think about relationships across the lines of racial indifference.”

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“My hope is that, one, a lot of Malvern kids come because I know Malvern can sometimes be a sheltered place. I hope that people come and become aware of issues minorities like myself or other people face.” 

Jordan Wright ’19 

Diversity Club Member, Conference Leader 


After Moore’s speech, everyone will split into breakout groups led by Malvern’s Diversity Awareness Club members. One such student is junior Jordan Wright who will be heading a session with senior Christian DiCicco.

“We are all running our own breakout sessions. Christian and I are doing race and pop culture. That’s one of the topics we will be facilitating and talking about,” Wright said. “I am really excited for that.”

Wright has attended other diversity conferences since freshman year with the Diversity Awareness Club, which he has been very grateful to attend.

“People from different backgrounds come together to talk about topics concerning race, sexual orientation, religion, economic backgrounds. It’s a really nice experience,” he said.  

Sayers and Wright both emphasize that students who are coming to [email protected] need to be open-minded. Listening to what others say and not judging will also make it a much better experience, in their opinions.

“My hope is that, one, a lot of Malvern kids come because I know Malvern can sometimes be a sheltered place,” Wright said. “I hope that people come and become aware of issues minorities like myself or other people face.”

SUNDAY, MARCH 18 8:30-4:00

Sayers also hopes a large portion of Malvern’s student body attends the conference. She thinks it is equally as important to have a significant group of students from other schools as well.

“I’m really hoping we have a good number to come and experience that. I would like for a good number of our community to be there as well. It can’t be all our community. It has to be others as well. So that there is an exchange of perspective,” she said.

Sayers thinks that the [email protected] conference holds a lot of potential for the future.

“It’s been an interesting process all along. A lot of work along the way. A lot of growth… I’m hoping it all comes together,” Sayers said. “I’m hoping that once we have it it will kind of be a jumpstart to other things and conversations.”

Moore is very excited for his visit to Malvern. For him, the opportunity to talk to the youth in an influential way appeals to him because they are the future.

“I love talking to young people. You all are the folks responsible for making our world a better place. Some of us who are older are stuck in our ways. You aren’t. You are the folks we will be leaning on to make change a realistic thing,” he said.

Darnell Moore at TEDxBroadStreet, Newark, NJ, 2013