Wilmington Frends is focusing on the Quaker testimony of Equality in the upcoming school year, and we have begun to map out a plan for initiatives to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to the following actions, which will inform subsequent concrete steps for the future:
Engaging 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 will do an immersive culture assessment of our independent school community and stakeholders, as well as review feedback already provided to the School. Topics in the Assessment will include:
- 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
We expect that the assessment will identify and prioritize both short-term and long-term needs for the School and the students we serve. Additionally, BGA will lead our faculty and staff in a workshop on implicit bias awareness.
Conducted Zoom sessions with students, parents, and alumni led by Anita Foeman, PhD, and Nate Terrell, NCSW. The conversations gave participants an outlet to honestly share their stories and views, and yielded valuable feedback to incorporate into our overall efforts.
Instituting an Incidents of Bias Report to document incidents that take place at Wilmington Friends School or that involve the WFS community, with the goal of consistency in how we address these incidents as an institution. Incidents of bias include acts related to an individual’s or groups’ identity. That identity includes, but is not limited to ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc. Incidents can be both intentional and unintentional.
Engaging our Black alumni. This summer we have been working on an initiative to gain feedback from our Black community members regarding their experiences at WFS. We met with our Black Alumni Advisory Committee to talk about the best way to gain this insight. This meeting was beyond valuable, and we are grateful for the direction the group provided. The first initiative of the group was to send a survey for our Black alumni, and feedback will be incorporated into future DEI planning. We invite any Black alumni who would like to be involved in the committee to contact our Director of Alumni Programs and Giving, Tina DiSabatino, at email@example.com.