About Friends

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

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. BGA also led our faculty and staff in a workshop on implicit bias awareness. In the 2022-2023 school year, using the Executive Summary of the Immersive Climate Assessment as a foundation, the Diversity Steering Committee and the Administrative Team created and approved a path forward for the school’s DEIJB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belong) work: DEIJB Vision Priorities and Action. This work has been affirmed by the School’s Board of Trustees. This plan consists of overarching goals, objectives, and action steps that we believe are most needed by our students and school community at this time. While we have prioritized and outlined a series of next steps to take in the upcoming three years, we recognize that this work is never truly complete. We also recognize that these action steps may evolve with time. We will give annual updates to our community during the fall of 2024, 2025, and 2026.  



List of 5 items.

  • Ensure just outcomes and equal access in WFS policies and practices

    • Perform a thorough review of WFS policies, processes and outcomes for discipline in each division.  
    • Perform a review of the WFS admissions process. Identify opportunities to maintain and/or increase the percentage of applicants of color.
    • Complete an audit of IB curriculum and IB diploma program every 5 years. 
    • Complete an annual review of the hiring process. Identify additional recruitment pathways to broaden and diversify the applicant pool and include anti-bias training for all people involved in the hiring process.
    • Complete a thorough review of WFS handbooks, policies, publications, and social media through a DEIJB lens.  
    Highlights of Action Items for 2023-2024
    • Review and establish best practices for entering and tracking all data associated with school related discipline/restorative justice instances

    • Director of Equity, Justice, Community and Engagement and Assistant Head of School for Academics analyze demographic data of IB program students and applicants from prior years, calculating graduation rates and retention rates. Thoroughly review the application process and identify and encourage larger numbers of students of color to apply.

    • Administrative team to create and establish a framework to be used by all divisions and departments to provide a detailed record of hiring process used for each open position with relevant statistics and information.
  • Increase Quaker and DEIJB programming for families and alumni

    • Increase opportunities for families to learn about the school’s mission and Quakerism.
    • Provide opportunities for families to grow their own DEIJB understanding, cultural competence and responsiveness. 
    • Establish affinity groups for parents/guardians/families.
    • Identify pathways to diversify the alumni board and increase involvement with alumni of color. Identify pathways to engage alumni of color in school events and volunteer opportunities.
    Highlights of Action Items for 2023-2024
    • Identify members of working group to begin planning Quaker orientation for 2024-2025 school year
    • Create a resource of DEI resources on school webpage for families
    • Reach out to specific alumni of color establish Black Alumni Advisory Council
  • Review and strengthen curriculum and programming for students

    • Complete an audit of curriculum from a DEIJB lens every 5 years. 
    • Review WFS service learning program and its connection to curriculum and mission. Identify alumni to connect with as well.
    • Create clear pathways and support for students to pursue DEIJB leadership
    • Assess and strengthen advisory programs for middle and upper school. Develop  similar programming for LS students (affinity, SEL, etc.). 
    • Develop and implement annual programming in each division that reviews current awareness of what constitutes bullying, harassment, cyberbullying, and hate speech.
    Highlights of Action Items for 2023-2024 school year
    • Establish a working group to research and design a format for auditing curriculum using a DEI lens. 
    • Middle and Upper Schools begin review of goals, expectations, and curriculum of advisory programs. 
    • Lower School to begin review of Social Studies curriculum and identify ways to more intentionally embed social and emotional learning into the Lower School program.
  • Strengthen DEIJB growth opportunities for all employees and trustees

    • ​​Increase DEIJB professional development and DEIJB responsibilities for all administrators, department chairs, and the board of trustees.  
    • Provide ongoing meaningful opportunities for all faculty/staff to participate in consistent DEIJB-related activities and professional development. Develop opportunities for faculty/staff to become DEIJB leaders inside and outside of the WFS community.
    • Review evaluation procedures for all employees and include DEIJB engagement as an expectation in admin/faculty/staff evaluation.
    • Create programming for faculty to reflect on how to create a more inclusive classroom and curriculum. 
    Highlights of Action Items for 2023-2024
    • Faculty and staff participated in a 90-minute training session led by Dr. Liza Talusan on how to build inclusive school communities. Faculty participated in an additional 90 minute training on practical skills for using identity consciousness in the classroom.
    • All divisions have at least three READ Journal Club sessions during the school year
    • Establish DEI Reflective Instruction Cohort for teaching faculty
  • Strive for equity, inclusion and belonging for all

    • Increase the number of affinity/alliance groups in each division and strengthen their effectiveness and promote awareness. 
    • Establish affinity/alliance groups for faculty/staff.
    • Create DEIJB committees for students to discuss issues/curriculum/programming/policy/events from a student perspective. 
    • Routinely assess the physical, emotional and social needs of marginalized groups within the WFS community.
    • Review aspects of school life and programs/events for students and alumni from a DEIJB perspective, with a focus on social class. Explore and propose more inclusive and cost-effective alternatives where needed.
    Highlights of Action Items for 2023-2024
    • Establish a Middle School Gender-Sexuality Alliance
    • Offer affinity group activities for LS students of color and their families
    • Establish a committee to review aspects of school life and programs/events for students and alumni from a DEI perspective, with a focus on social class. 
101 School Road, Wilmington, DE 19803
302.576.2900   |   info@wilmingtonfriends.org

Statement of Nondiscrimination as to Student Enrollment
Wilmington Friends School admits students of any race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of these schools. Wilmington Friends School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.