Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
At GFS, we welcome the experiences and perspectives of all members of our community. We strive for continuous growth in understanding and valuing the intersections of age, ability, gender, race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. We aim to be mindful of the roles these varied parts of our identities play in making us who we are, individually and as a school community.
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team coordinates with all members of our community to better engage in these principles. We see DEI as integral to the ethical foundation of our community and as work that we all share.
GFS is a community that values both intergroup and intragroup connections. The work we do within groups and across our community permeates the fabric of our school life.
Our desire is to improve relationships between people by dialoguing, engaging in constructive conflict, and working together in authentic and meaningful ways.
Engagement on Campus and in the Wider World
GFS creates spaces for students to engage in full-day, focused learning on relational identity development and allyship, including Diversity Dialogue Days in the Upper School, MOSAIC in 8th grade, and the Unity Day Teach-In (coming soon).
Many of our teachers are actively engaged in exploring race, culture, and ethnicity, and are leaders in these areas at GFS, regionally, and nationally. Faculty- and staff-initiated affinity groups include the Staff of Color Group and the White Allies Affinity Group.
Diversity Committees in Every Division
Each of the four educational divisions—Early Childhood Program, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School—have dedicated Diversity Committees.
The Diversity Committees explore where additional work may be needed, and they address head-on questions and fears that individuals may have in talking to students, parents, and colleagues about race, gender, socio-economic issues, and more.
Our Upper School student-led affinity groups and general social identity groups are centered around deepening students' understanding of their identity. These groups provide safe gathering spaces for students of a wide range of social identities.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work requires ongoing reflection and assessment. GFS seeks to improve the capacities of our students, faculty, and staff in this area, through professional development, conferences, and in-house days at GFS.
Students, faculty, and staff participate in the following conferences and workshops. These valuable events allow us to work in real time, applying new research and practices to inform our work at GFS.
- People of Color Conference (PoCC)
- NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)
- National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) Conference
- The Race Institute for Educators
- SEED: Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity
- White Privilege Conference
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Diversity Conference (MARD)
- Annual National Black Male Educators Convening Conference
- Teaching Black Boys (Workshop through Friends Council)
- Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS) Diversity Leadership Conference
- Multicultural Resource Center (MCRC@ADVIS)
- Middle School Diversity Conference
Transformational Intergroup Dialogue
One of our primary tools to build better relationships and promote constructive conflict is Transformational Intergroup Dialogue.
Transformational Intergroup Dialogue is a social justice education approach which promotes intergroup cooperation and understanding through dialogue by helping participants address individual, social, and organizational barriers to diversity engagement. Learn more.
Diversity Ambassadors are Upper School students who take on collaborative leadership roles, inclusive of the immediate and global community, and representative of the school’s Quaker values and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Our Diversity Ambassadors work with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; our Community Involvement team, and our International Student Program to advocate for and provide culturally based programming and dialogues aligned with social justice principles. Diversity Ambassadors operate individually and collectively with GFS departments.
Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The following statement is the collaborative intention of our Germantown Friends School community, created with the Germantown Monthly Meeting. Read the statement.