Diversity & Multiculturalism

As an educational and religious community grounded in the values of the Religious Society of Friends, GFS encourages and welcomes a range of experiences and perspectives. We seek to be an open community where multiple voices and experiences are heard. At this time in our school, we intend to be mindful of the importance of religion, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status in building an inclusive community.

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Our goal is to create an environment where important aspects of our collective and individual social identities are valued and where each member of the community feels included and heard. We recognize that our differences and commonalities provide the frameworks for how we can enrich our work in the classroom, on the playing fields, in performances, and in all aspects of school life. Diversity is an essential ingredient in the GFS education, empowering all of our students with life skills for a diverse world.

We call on all members of our school community to join together on a continuing learning path as we strive toward these goals.

Race, Culture, and Ethnicity

In 1688, Friends in Germantown wrote and signed the first written protest against slavery in America. Their participation in this protest grew out of their historical commitment to human rights, a commitment grounded in Friends’ belief that God may speak through any human being. In America’s 17th century, to acknowledge the humanity of African-Americans and to pro-test their bondage was a profoundly anti-racist stance for the time. We have learned—in the centuries since that signing and despite the leanings toward equality intended by the Society of Friends—that it has been difficult, if not impossible, for anyone, including Quakers, to live in this society and not be tainted by racial prejudice and discrimination. More than three hundred years after the signing of that protest, the Meeting and the School seek to act on that continuing belief that God may speak through any of us and to translate this spiritual commitment to the ideal of racial equality.

At Germantown Friends School today, we intend to create a school community which supports the intellectual and spiritual growth of all of its members, working with and across our cultural, racial or ethnic backgrounds in a spirit of inclusion. We believe this can best be achieved by acknowledging that we do not live in an homogeneous nor a color-blind society. Furthermore, we have no desire to create one. Instead, we wish to understand, learn from, and embrace our differences through our curriculum and to build a school community that is inclusive of and knowledgeable about the diversity of cultures in the community around us. We intend to create opportunities where every student can engage in multiple perspectives pertaining to race, culture, and ethnicity. By our choice to remain in the urban, multiracial community of Germantown, we affirm that lessons of racial diversity will be a central manifestation of our commitment to Friends’ teachings.

Germantown Friends School intends to set forth an open door to all members of our multiracial school community and to the communities that individual students represent. One way that we began to achieve this vision was by seeking the enrollment of more students of color and actively seeking faculty of color and the knowledge and experiences that they bring. We intend for the perspectives of people of color to be constitutive of who we are as a community of learners. We also intend to involve all members of our community in understanding the meaning of diversity and the significance of our various racial identities in order to work towards a fully inclusive, equitable, and accountable multiracial community. We believe that these steps will reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and invigorating environment for cultural exchange and intellectual growth.

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Contact

Mirangela Buggs
Director of Multicultural Affairs
267-323-3465

DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP TEAM:
Cheryl Bruttomesso 

Physical Education Teacher
Margaret Fleisher
4th grade teacher
June Gondi
6th grade teacher

Malik Mubashshir
History Teacher
Advisor to Multicultural Students Union

Meg Goldner Rabinowitz
English Teacher
Advisor to Chaverim