GFA has made a conscious effort to build a multicultural student body, representing a wide range of ethnic, racial, socio-economic, religious and international backgrounds. As a result, families are often surprised to find such a diverse school in the heart of Fairfield County. The school has no specific religious affiliation, but nearly every belief system is represented by the members of our community. GFA's current population is comprised of 20% students of color, and 17% faculty of color, as defined by the National Association of Independent Schools.
GFA is working to increase the diversity of the school community. In doing so, we are:
Formalizing greater support for and sensitivity to the needs of all students from diverse backgrounds so they feel valued in every way within the school community
Demonstrating our commitment to diversity not only in the composition of the student body, but also in the adult community of the school
Encouraging interaction and the exchange of ideas and different perspectives throughout the GFA
Events and Activities
Every year, GFA sends Upper School students and GFA faculty to the national People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Leadership Conference. GFA also sends Middle and Upper School students, GFA faculty and parents to the annual State of Connecticut Student Diversity Leadership Conference.
Several times a year, the school invites visiting writers to spend extended time in the classroom talking and working with students and faculty about their writing process and inspiration. Some recent visitors include:
- Indran Amirthanayagam, Sri Lankan poet
- Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-American poet
- Luong Ung, Cambodian author of First They Killed My Father
- Bliss Broyard, GFA '84, bi-racial author of My Father, Dancing and One Drop: My Father's Hidden Life
- Lorene Cary, African American author of Black Ice
- Patricia Polacco, children's author and illustrator
- Da Chen, author of China's Son
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Purple Hibiscus and Americanah
- Mirta Ojito, Cuban author of Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus
- Danielle Legros Georges, Haitian poet
- John Elder, professor emeritus of Middlebury College faculty and author of Reading the Mountains of Home
Every year, an all-school assembly led by students celebrates the legacy of Dr. King with music, multi-media presentations, original essays and personal reflections.
This biennial celebration is sponsored by the school’s Mandarin students and faculty, and is open to the GFA community. In past years, students of all ages have read original works, recited poetry, presented traditional Chinese dances and demonstrated martial arts.
The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGTB name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools across the country.
This affinity group meets several times a year and was established as a vehicle for faculty of color from independent schools in the area to connect with each other and provides them with social, professional and cultural support.