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The American Conference on Diversity will recognize Ocean Township High School Counselor Sue Henderson with the Education Diversity Champion Award on Thursday, April 7. Aligned with the mission of our organization to create just and inclusive workplaces, communities, schools, Ms. Henderson strives to drive out hate throughout the state as a committed educator, community leader, and advocate for LGBTQ youth.

“It is important for schools to create a place where every student learns to accept and respect all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity or gender expression,” she says. “If LGBTQ students, especially transgender students, continue to feel unsafe in school, it is everyone’s responsibility to act.”

Ms. Henderson has served as Councilwoman and Deputy Mayor of Asbury Park and worked in education for 39 years. She began her career as a Physical Education teacher at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, NJ. During her tenure, she was an advisor to numerous clubs and coached four different sports. Ms. Henderson also earned accolades as “Asbury Park Coach of the Year” as the head tennis coach, but says she is most proud of the impact made on students as the advisor of A.C.T. (Adolescents Coping Together) working with youth throughout the summer to develop leadership programs to bring back to their schools in the fall. Along with 10 trained teachers, Ms. Henderson developed weekly support groups that created an inclusive environment where students could feel safe to be themselves and, ultimately, excel in school.

After earning her master’s degree in counseling from The College of New Jersey, she went on to serve as a St. John’s school counselor and Student Assistant Counselor. In 1992, Ms. Henderson transferred to Ocean Township High School, where she continues to counsel, coach, and create safe learning environments for all students. In addition, she works with Central Jersey GLSEN, where she served on a panel for Health Educators on Transgender issues and hosted the GLSEN forum at her school this year. Ms. Henderson credits her ability to engage in so many activities and community work to the loving support of her partner of 21 years.

In addition to paying tribute to Ms. Henderson, the American Conference on Diversity will present awards to the following:

The Luing Family, Berkeley College (Legacy Award)

Seham Abdala, Director of Islamic Networks Group of New Jersey (Interfaith Diversity Champion Award)

Jennifer Allyn, Diversity Strategy Leader at PwC (Corporate Ambassador Award)

Deborah Dagit, Principal of Deb Dagit Diversity (Diversity Ambassador Award)

Our awards fundraiser is more important than ever because it supports education that opens minds to help end to hate in our state! The American Conference on Diversity’s mission is to build just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy. By bringing together top executives and community leaders, we hope to raise $300,000 to continue to provide diversity and inclusion services, including the signature Lead for Diversity Institute. The yearlong program has positively impacted the lives of more than 3,200 high-school students over the past two decades by providing leadership development so youth can take action against all forms of hate in their schools and communities.

In addition to networking, dining, and entertainment, this year’s fundraiser will include a silent auction of artwork, sports memorabilia, and fine jewelry items. The annual event will kick off with a stellar cocktail reception at 6 p.m. at the historic Pleasantdale Château (757 Eagle Rock Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052).

Seats are limited and filling up fast! Purchase tickets today by contacting Gala Coordinator Barbara Getze at bgetze@aol.com or (800) 626-8097 today. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Want to demonstrate your commitment to youth leadership-development and diversity & inclusion? Various sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Dinner sponsors include: Berkeley College, Prudential Financial (Executive Advisory Leadership), PSEG, Verizon (Executive Founder), Investors Bank, L’Oréal USA, NJM Insurance Group, New Jersey Natural Gas (Community Underwriters), PNC Bank, and Genova Burns (Justice Sponsors).

About the American Conference on Diversity

The American Conference on Diversity is dedicated to building just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today the programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates Regional Community Networks covering all of New Jersey. Visit www.AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org to learn more.


Gail Zoppo

Media Relations Consultant

109 Church Street

New Brunswick, NJ 08901