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explore our CAMPUS

What's cool about our campus is that it's spread out over seven acres in Philadelphia's historic neighborhood of Germantown. The buildings are an eclectic mix of old and new, a unique look and feel more consistent with a college campus. With three gyms, three auditoriums, a student center, numerous open, green spaces and nine classroom buildings, it's a place worthy of adoration and exploration. The Meetinghouse, at the center of it all, provides a beautiful and spiritual focal point.

1. Main Building 2. Meetinghouse 3. Sharpless 4. Hargroves 5. Wade Science Center 6. Alumni Building 7. Admissions 8. Living Graveyard 9. Dead Graveyard 10. Loeb Performing Arts Center 11. Smith Gym 12. Cary Building 13. Friends Free Library 14. Field House 15. Scattergood Gym

we have deep roots in this place

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The Pillars of A

Quaker Education

At GFS, students and teachers gather in Meeting for Worship once each week. This is a time for shared, silent contemplation. Anyone who feels moved to speak may rise and do so. It is a simple formula, and can be a remarkably powerful experience.In these days of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.

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speak the truth

We strive to deal fairly, equally and honestly with everyone. We aim to do as we say, reflecting our beliefs in our actions. even when it is inconvenient or challenging, we stand by our convictions, striving to lead lives of integrity.

Shine Together

We are all blessed with remarkable gifts. We are equally qualified to seek truth and to hear the voice of God. Every person deserves equal respect. For these reasons, we work against prejudice and discrimination and for equality.

stay connected

"Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."* We know there is strength in cooperation and wisdom to be found when many perspectives come together. We believe in the power of community.*
The words of Helen Keller.

keep it simple

In every way we can, we try to minimize the distractions that can draw our attention from the important things in life. This means not becoming overwhelmed by the busyness of daily routine. It means seeking balance. It means embracing simplicity.

care for all

This planet we inhabit, the talents we've been given, the community of which we are a part- all hold remarkable value. We must be responsible, imaginative and proactive in protecting these gifts and caring for the world and people around us. We must exercise good stewardship.

promote peace

We believe each life is precious and unique. We stand against war and violence and work to eliminate their root causes, including ignorance, racism, hatred and oppression. We are committed to creating peace.

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"Purposefully Disruptive": Student-Led Teach-In on Race
"Purposefully Disruptive": Student-Led Teach-In on Race

Although we encourage critical thinking every day here at GFS, this week's student-led, full-day teach-in on race for the entire Upper School offered a fresh and challenging experience. As Meg Goldner Rabinowitz, one of the faculty leads, explained, "A teach-in is purposefully disruptive. This is about learning by being in it."

A team of Upper School students, with support from faculty and staff, spent months devising the content of the day, with the goal being to encourage students to think deeply, from an intersectional standpoint, about the ways in which race impacts both students of color and white students at GFS.

The day's work was framed by "working agreements," which outlined the desired framework for participation, including "Respectfully challenge one another by asking questions, but refrain from personal attacks—focus on ideas" and "Lean into discomfort." 

Students began the day with an experience designed to help people empathize with those who are different from themselves. Based on whether students had brown eyes or blue eyes, students were sorted into groups, and the facilitators treated all brown-eyed students preferentially while actively disparaging the blue-eyed students. After the experience, students were debriefed via queries.

Following Marisa Williamson ‘04 sharing her art with students during the Cohen Art Lecture, afternoon workshops addressed racism and allyship.

The next workshop experience focused on the ways in which systemic racism has an impact on everyone by talking about overt and covert racism. Overt racism refers to racism that is out in the open and easily identifiable, and covert racism is harder to discern; it's the subtle everyday manifestation of systemic racism, such as how many commercial products, such as cosmetics and band-aids, cater to light skin tones as a default. Covert racism also plays into code-switching, wherein someone changes the expression of their racial identity (through speech, mannerisms, and body language) to make a dominant group feel less threatened and more comfortable. 

Layah Taylor '18, one of the student facilitators, explained that the band-aid example of covert racism really opened a lot of students' eyes. "We asked kids about finding band-aids that matched their skin tone. The dominant color is ‘nude,’ which matches white skin, and a lot of kids of color couldn't find a match. We talked a lot about the underlying racism." 

Later in the afternoon, students engaged in a workshop where they explored the roles of ally, accomplice, and actor. They acted out scenarios based on actual events that have taken place at GFS, and discussed honestly how they would have reacted in those scenarios. Would they be an actor (someone who does not disrupt the status quo), an ally (someone whose actions challenge institutional racism), or an accomplice (someone whose actions directly impede racist people, structures, and policies)? Students and faculty were challenged to take on active roles that would make meaningful progress towards racial justice. 

The day concluded with Worship Sharing. Aaron Preetam, one of the faculty leads, commented, "I was moved by the truths and testimonials that were spoken in each phase of the teach-in. Students and faculty shared with each other in ways that one could not imagine, and from that sharing, fostered a greater sense of inclusivity and social justice on our campus. I am proud to work in a school that truly lives its diversity, equity, and inclusion philosophy."  

Student Leaders: Nile Bayard '18, Layah Taylor '18, Sam Pancoe '18, Emmanuel Jones '18, Sanaa DeBose '19
Fac/Staff Committee: Aaron Preetam, Meg Goldner Rabinowitz, Natasha Labbé, Mark Anderson, Michelle Palmer, Duane Michelle Sims