DiverCity Lens
Charles O Dewey Middle School 136K, Ms. Amanda Bueno/Principal Gordon Baldwin/Art Teacher 

Our theme this year, Sanctuary, could not have been more appropriate. We and our students are living in the most unusual of times and we all will come out the other side the better. That said, the DiverCity Lens Project is the project I most look forward to with my students every year.


Edward R. Murrow High School, Alan Barge/PrincipalJaclyn Roberts/Visual Arts Teacher

The DiverCity Lens Program invites students to reflect on their identities and examine their lives through the lens of a camera. Working with talented and dedicated fellow art educators and DiverCity Lens founder, Zion Ozeri as a collective, has enriched my pedagogical practice. Students see their work and the work of their peers displayed and published, and are encouraged to continue to use the medium of photography to tell stories and make their voices heard. Families report their child was motivated by the program because their visual voices were heard. This program is particularly important during these challenging times; it encourages students to respond to new and uneasy political, social and physical situations. Feeling connected is so important, even before the pandemic. As a collective, we support the students and one another in this creative initiative.


James Madison High School, Mrs. Jodie Cohen/PrincipalDavid Mahl/Art Teacher

As our world becomes more and more chaotic and unpredictable our sanctuaries become more vital.


New Utrecht High School, Maureen Goldfarb/PrincipalAdrienne Mikulka/Visual Arts Educator

“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that means an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow wholly, completely and deeply. The Office of Arts and Special Projects in collaboration with Zion Ozeri and a profoundly astonishing group of educators is the village and together we raise up, enable and encourage these emerging photographers. It is an honor to be unified by this commitment and to have access to the kinds of conversations that make a difference for everyone involved—especially when in isolation.

Inside Out/Alexis Castro/Brooklyn, NY/2020 (Next Page) 8th Grade/Charles O Dewey MS 136/Gordon Baldwin This represents how a person can enjoy their time indoors, and how the nature thats outside can be inside too. People might not enjoy being outside, but this picture shows how they can stay calm and safe.
Morning Time/Angel Luna/Brooklyn, NY/2020 8th Grade/Charles O Dewey MS 136/Gordon Baldwin My kitchen is where I feel happy and safe. In the mornings it is where I feed my cat and dog. At the end of the day it is where my dad, mom and siblings will be eating dinner together. Here, at the table I feel safe eating or just chilling and watching YouTube.
My Family Couch/Angelo Meza/Brooklyn, NY/2020 8th Grade/Charles O Dewey MS 136/Gordon Baldwin On school days when I get home, I go to my room to change clothes. Then I go to my couch to sit or lay down, play on my phone or watch TV. I usually have a blanket with me. Sometimes I fall asleep and I feel secure because I know that Im safe on my couch where nobody can bother me.
Living Life/Sulaiman Esa/Brooklyn, NY/2020 8th Grade/Charles O Dewey MS 136/Gordon Baldwin I feel safe in the back of my relatives store because it gives me peace of mind. When Im having a hard time or when women flood my grandpas house I can always get calmer in the store.
Voodou Ceremony/East New York/2019 Gordon Baldwin/Art Educator/Charles O Dewey MS 136 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. What seems strange and scary to one person is anothers peaceful and safe space. Its up to each of us to accept this.
Friends and Sanctuary/Estel Hamzra/Brooklyn/20192020 (Next Page) 11th Grade/Edward R. Murrow High School/Jaclyn Roberts The first image reminds me of my childhood because I was always drawn to the sun and used to draw it. I love nature and find photographing nature brings me comfort. The second image is of one of my best friends. Her hands remind me to be grateful that you have the hands of others to lead you on amazing journeys and pursue more challenging endeavors.
Waiting for a Friend/Maksym Pavlik/Brooklyn/20192020 10th Grade/Edward R. Murrow High School/Jaclyn Roberts I was waiting for a friend in the park. I was looking at the bench that I was sitting on and decided to photograph it. I also thought that it would be funny to hide when my friend came to the park. Parks are sanctuaries to be with people you care about.
Spiritual Sanctuary/ Kamila Pitlch/Brooklyn/ 20192020 10th Grade/Edward R. Murrow High School/Jaclyn Roberts Many individuals find comfort at the core of the churchseeking shelter from the outside world. This image illustrates how peoples worries and struggles fade away upon entering these places of worship. With their worries behind them, they are safe and can let go.
Nature/Nathaniel Sheridan/Brooklyn/20192020 10th Grade/Edward R. Murrow High School/Jaclyn Roberts To me nature is my sanctuary, seeing life untouched by humankind. Observing a spider feasting in its web showed me how the smallest creatures have ways to survive and live. There are many animals and other creatures out there that fear us and will attack or run away but being slow and calm may reassure them to stick around a while longer in their own sanctuary.
Veteran/Jaclyn Roberts/ Edward R. Murrow High School/Art Teacher I volunteer each summer taking photographs for a non-profit organization, AmpSurf (Association of Amputee Surfers). My father coordinates the AmpSurf Rockaway Beach/Breezy Point Chapter Learn to Surf Program. It provides a sanctuary for veterans and their families to come together. The goal of the program is to Promote, Inspire, Educate and Rehabilitate Vets through the healing power of the ocean. I use the medium of photography to reflect this mission.
Madison Staircase (Scale Model)/Perlie Abihzer & Vincent Labarbera/Brooklyn/2019 11th Grade/James Madison High School/David Mahl For many at Madison, the staircase is a sanctuary. Some use it to escape stress while others use it to escape class. Its a hidden place for students to take care of their issues.
Backstage (Scale Model)/Chelsea Edwards & Hafsa Farooq/Brooklyn/2019 Chelsea12th Grade, Hafsa Farooq11th Grade James Madison High School/David Mahl My sanctuary is an oasis, with lights that brighten shadows beneath me. My sanctuary is a hideout. 32
Untitled/Lizi Koberidze/Brooklyn/2019 12th Grade/James Madison/David Mahl My sanctuary happens to be the rooftop of my apartment building. For me it is somewhere I can be silent, think and listen to the rest of the world surrounding me.
Madison Hallway (Scale Model)/Karega Russell & George Kveladze/Brooklyn/2019 Karega 11th Grade George9th Grade James Madison High School/ David Mahl This hallway is away from all the other hallways at Madison, forming a road between the other ways. You can avoid a lot of the crowds and still get to your destination.
Wood/David Mahl/Art Teacher Esopus, NY/James Madison High School This is not my home, but it is my haven.
Huddle/Tiffany Huang/Brooklyn/2019 (Next Page) 11th Grade/New Utrecht High School/Adrienne Mikulka Our hands come togetherready to begin the game, begin the season as a unified force. There is a thrill and a rush of happiness, of belonging when I know my girls will always have my back. This team is my sanctuary.
Sounds of Fire/May Lin/ Catskills, New York/2019 12th Grade/New Utrecht High School/Adrienne Mikulka The first breath of trees, leaves and earth strips away all the stress ushering a state of tranquility. This quiet, away from the city, allows me space for presence. The subtle sounds of the fire and smoke further bring release. Surrounded by nature, alone with expanded space and infinite time.
My Tea/Maleny Perez-Martinez/Brooklyn/2019 11th Grade/New Utrecht High School/Adrienne Mikulka Home... where I can be me, where the bakery on the corner knows how I like my tea, Where I wake up early every morning seven days a week, And when I walk in at night, its the same people with whom I speak.
The Open Door/Rubaya Ruba/The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, NY/2019 10th Grade/New Utrecht High School/Adrienne Mikulka We smell wet grass, exploring this Christian space, a museum keeping customs safe. We are Muslim, wearing our customs for all to see, this is DiverCity and this is me.
Saturday, 5:30AM/Adrienne Mikulka/Photographer/Educator Elmer, New Jersey/2019/New Utrecht High School Warm sunlight touches pale skin, dew dampening verdant grass, sneakers striking loose soil... Escaping into a pattern of exhalations, every intakebringing me closer to the sacred moment of quiet.
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