Klarissa Karosen, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Morristown-Beard School, was recently appointed a member of the School’s senior administration team.
Klarissa joined the MBS community in 2016 as the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and a History Department faculty member, relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children. Before coming to MBS, she worked in an economically challenged area with low-income students of color. This meaningful experience enabled Klarissa, who grew up in a low-income community, to return to her neighborhood and work with underserved individuals and groups.
As Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, she directs mentoring programs, offers emotional support to students, and conducts faculty and staff training, among many other duties, both in her extended classroom (called the “Intersection” by MBS students) and outside of MBS. Klarissa teaches students how to advocate for themselves, and guides them through the process of creating diverse and inclusive programming that they would like to see implemented here at MBS. She also teaches several classes as a History faculty member, including US History, Sociology of Diversity, and Diversity and Public Policy.
Klarissa strives to listen, connect, and inspire all students, who come to MBS from a multitude of socioeconomic backgrounds. As her definition of diversity includes race, class, gender, sexual orientation, mental health, learning differences, and religion, she engages with the entire student body at one time or another during their time at MBS. She truly enjoys working with young people and makes a concentrated effort to learn about each student’s individual life journey.
Klarissa and MBS students have worked to organize several impactful events in recent years, including the Diversity and Inclusion Retreat, Day of Silence, “Kicking the Stigma”, Martin Luther King Day, and a student walkout to protest gun violence in schools. She also manages both the faculty and student Social Justice Committees, and works closely with numerous student clubs, including Spectrum, Kaleidoscope, GLOW, Mental Health Matters, and Amnesty International. To help current MBS students learn more about diversity and inclusion from others, Klarissa also works to engage students with numerous external organizations and conferences (such as the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the TransYouth Forum).
For new students, she assists transitions by creating programming for “Summer Start” to welcome and introduce them to the people and resources designed to support them at MBS. she also engages MBS parents by serving as the liaison between the School and the Multi-Cultural Collaborative parent group, and by assisting with the Nonfiction Book Club.
A first generation college student, Klarissa earned her undergraduate degree in Social Science from San Jose State University before continuing on to earn a Teaching Credential and Master’s Degree in Multi-Cultural Education from Santa Clara University.