Actions for Equity
Our Renewed Approach to Anti-Racism
The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks have opened eyes across the country to systemic problems, and pushed schools and organizations—including GFS—to better understand their role in dismantling racism.While equity has long been a part of the GFS mission and a core priority of our strategic vision, this awakening across the country and within our own community is inspiring us to adapt and improve, creating an even safer, stronger GFS. Thank you to the courageous students, families, faculty, and staff who are sharing their stories of aggressions and microaggressions, and providing voices and ideas to ensure our plan forward is implemented with love and care.
We continue to share updates below and with our community. Thank you for your partnership.
We will bring this renewed commitment to anti-racism to life through an ongoing process that includes:
- Community Conversations (ongoing)
- Statement and Values (shared below)
- An Action Plan (below)
- A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report (below, here, and ongoing)
- Accountability Checks (below and ongoing)
Actions for Equity: A Working Plan
Developed in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Officers of the School Committee, and with guidance and input from many—current and former students; faculty and staff; families; neighbors; and educational partners—we have built a framework for our work going forward. This is a working document and we will update as we listen to even more voices and test our new approach. Below you will find our statement and values, followed by priorities and accompanying steps:
Plan Updates and Reports
SEE ADDITIONAL GFS NEWS AND UPDATES ON THE RIGHT
Share Your Thoughts about the Working Plan
NEWS FROM GFS
(plan updates below)
- February 3, 2022: Update from Charla Okewole, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- March 3, 2021: Condemning Anti-Asian and Anti-Asian American Attacks
- January 29, 2021: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service featured online discussions related to Social Justice in the Midst of a Health Crisis. The day began with keynote Dr. Aletha Akers, Vice President of Research at the Guttmacher Institute,who spoke about health disparities highlighted by the COVID-19. Read more about the day in an article by sophomores Oscar Schwartz and Ethan Young in the Chestnut Hill Local and visit our MLK Day webpage.
- January 9, 2021: Reflections on the Attack on the Capitol.
- December 2, 2021: GFS shared a memo about the DEI Report and Plan from the Friends Schools League, with leadership from GFS' Michael Lintulahti and Dianna Thomas-Palmer.
- October 7, 2020: Bias reporting form and handbook updates information was shared.
- August 22, 2020: Updates to our Actions for Equity Plan.
- July 18, 2020: Equity Planning Update, Today's Forum, Upcoming GFS Conversations from Dana Weeks
- July 16, 2020 - Community Conversation Update
- June 25, 2020 - Actions for Equity from Dana Weeks
- June 21, 2020 - Responding with a New Way Forward from Dana Weeks and Dr. Angela Campbell
- June 5, 2020 - Doing More to be Anti-Racist from Dana Weeks
NEWS + ARTICLES
- June 26, 2020: WHYY outlines a petition from the Inter-Ac and Independent School Black Alumni Association
- June 24, 2020: The Philadelphia Inquirer shared an article titled, Philly-area students, alumni are demanding their schools address systemic racism."
- June 16, 2020: The New York Times shared an article titled, "High School Students and Alumni are Using Social Media to Expose Racism"
- Petition to the Inter-Ac & Independent Schools of the Greater Philadelphia Area
- Resources and ways for everyone to take action
- Friends Free Library resources and book suggestions: Black Lives Matter-Period.
- Resources from our Lower School
This summer, we invited GFS parents, alumni, faculty, and staff to share working plan feedback. Over 600 people joined our Community Conversations and we heard important feedback, ideas, and reflections, on topics including:
- Accountability and transparency
- Student/Family and Employee handbook updates
- Clear policies and processes for enforcement
- Bias incident reporting procedures
- Curriculum updates and consistency
- Mental health support for the BIPOC community
- Faculty and staff support, recognition, and advancement
- Recruitment of BIPOC faculty, staff, and students
- Restorative justice
- DEI program and initiative support
- Faculty and Staff of Color
- Faculty and Staff
- Alumni: Graduation year before or including 1979
- Alumni: 2000-2019
- Alumni (All alumni)
- Alumni of Color Host Committee
- Parents: Early Childhood
- Parents: Lower School
- Parents: Middle School
- Parents: Upper School
- Parents of Color Session (2 sessions)
- US Students/Class of 2020
- Multicultural Parents Alliance Executive Committee