It is striking that a man often invited to speak at diversity conferences doesn’t like the word diversity. Dr. Derrick Gay points to the inherent problem in calling some people “diverse,” as it assumes there is a normal, and that they are different from it. “Let’s either reclaim the word diversity,” he says, “or chuck it and talk instead about inclusivity and community.” Last year he brought his message of inclusivity to the GFA community and will continue the discussion throughout this school year.
GFA’s commitment to building and nurturing an inclusive community is core to our mission.
Inclusion work weaves through the life of the school
17% students of color
20% faculty of color
students receive financial aid
- Workshops: Regular grade-level work with students during advisory, assembly, and afternoon times addressing identity, empathy, diversity, and inclusion
- English Readings: Readings in English classes exploring identity and equity
- Spoken Word Poetry: A weekend Spoken Word Poetry program in collaboration with Horizons @ GFA and visiting poets
- Dragon Club: A diversity-focused student club
- Ninth Grade Teaching Tolerance Seminar: a required, seven-week seminar program exploring Teaching Tolerance standards
- LEAD: an inclusive student club dedicated to improving our community and exploring equity and inclusion issues
- Courses: A number of courses throughout the curriculum focused on equity and inclusion
- Conferences: students attend the national Student Diversity Leadership Conference and several other workshops throughout the year
- Equity & Social Justice Seminar: a Saturday program at GFA bringing together current students and alumni from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds
Building an inclusive community is everybody’s job. But several faculty members have taken the lead to organize and spearhead our efforts:
Upper School Diversity Coordinators
Michaela Pembroke & Melanie Haas
Middle School Diversity Coordinator
Lower School Diversity Coordinator
We also have in place a Faculty Staff Committee on Equity and Inclusion, which meets several times throughout the year to discussion program, policy, and practice around diversity, equity and inclusion.
- a diverse faculty, staff, and student body benefits and enriches all members of our community — not just those who are traditionally underrepresented in schools like ours — and is critical to meeting our educational aim of preparing students for their futures;
- our curriculum and co-curricular program needs to teach our students the habits, skills, and attitudes they will need to live and thrive in a multicultural and interconnected world;
- our community must be a place where all voices are heard, respected, and valued — a home for everybody at GFA.