“George School strives to create an engaged, diverse community of people from different cultures, backgrounds, circumstances, and beliefs, bound by our shared commitment to and respect for Quaker values. We honor the uniqueness of each person and appreciate the way our lives are broadened, strengthened, and enlightened by the range of perspectives present in our community.”
– George School Diversity Statement
As a Quaker community, we believe that life’s answers are found by marrying an inner awareness with an outer one. We think that individuals understand themselves better by learning from others, by interacting with the world—and the more varied the world, the better. So for us, being an inclusive, diverse community is not just a fundamental part of who we are; it’s an excellent teaching tool.
George School is multicultural. In an average year, international students represent 26 percent of our student body, and U.S. students of color represent 25 percent. There are students from approximately twenty states and, in the past decade, students from seventy-five countries attended George School. In addition, to create a socioeconomically diverse environment, each year we offer over $8 million in need-based financial aid to about 50 percent of our students.
But inclusiveness is about more than just numbers like these. When people from varying backgrounds meet, work together, study together, and just have fun together, they learn interesting new things about other races, ethnicities, socioeconomic situations, sexual orientations, religions, and political parties.
Inclusiveness is about more than just discovering new foods or new holidays. It’s about recognizing that we are all different from one another. It’s about respecting and appreciating differences of all kinds. You begin to get a deeper understanding of beauty, joy, even struggle by knowing what those things mean beyond your own experience. And your sense of yourself becomes ever sharper as you realize how very similar you are to others, and yet so very unique.
Living in such a rich, interesting world has a way of nourishing the voice inside you. And that’s part of our goal too. We want you to share your thoughts and opinions, no matter how controversial. It’s how we work here, how we make decisions. Yes, consensus building requires good listening skills. It requires compromise and learning how to handle complexities and ambiguities. But in the end, the decisions we make together have integrity; they are inclusive and they are whole.
So when you look around George School at the lovely and curious jumble of students, faculty, and staff, you will at first see diversity. But in time, you will see commonality. You may even see truth.