About Friends

DEI Initiatives

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Overview
Core to Quakerism is honoring that of God in everyone, and this belief informs all that we do at WFS. When individuals feel respected, heard, and included, they have an opportunity to reach their fullest potential. As is true with many beliefs, embracing an ideal is certainly critical to its fruition, but its achievement can be evolutionary and complex. 
 
Creating an inclusive and equitable culture at WFS for all individuals is something we have always regarded as critical work, but in the past several years have renewed a more focused initiative to better understand the extent to which this culture exists, and the extent to which it doesn’t. 
 
In the 2020-2021 school year we engaged Brown-Gary Associates (BGA) to conduct an Immersive Climate Assessment of our school. As stated on their website: “We are a resource to schools, corporations, and non-profit organizations that are committed to building inclusive learning and work environments. We conduct immersive climate assessments, professional development workshops and consulting services that promote cross-cultural understanding, strengthen communication and build a trusting community.”
 
BGA performed an immersive climate assessment of our independent school community and stakeholders, as well as review feedback already provided to the School. Topics in the Assessment included:
  • Philosophic commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • Leadership for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Board and Administrative Leadership); including new roles at the school
  • Faculty climate for inclusion, mindful of ongoing and future professional development opportunities
  • Recruiting and retaining faculty diversity; administrative and facilities staff
  • Diversity and inclusion of the student body
  • Student affinity
  • Socio-economic class and privilege
  • Gender and identity
  • Cognitive and physical ability
  • Community service and service learning
  • Parent education
 
The assessment identified and prioritized both short-term and long-term needs for the School and the students we serve. Click here to view a summary of the report. BGA also led our faculty and staff in a workshop on implicit bias awareness. The assessment strongly recommended that WFS create a new senior administrative position to oversee the school’s DEI initiatives. In July 2022, our new Director of Equity, Justice, Community, and Engagement, Dr. Erica Childs, began her work in this newly created role.