Unity in Diversity
George School is committed to being a community where people with vastly different backgrounds, identities, and perspectives are united both in their respect for the unique gifts that each brings and in pursuit of a common good. We place a high value on diversity and on the ways that our convictions, both individually and collectively, are broadened, strengthened, and enlightened when we appreciate and respect a range of perspectives. This belief is reflected in the school’s motto, Mind the Light.
George School shared these inclusion statements in July 2019:
- George School’s inclusion tenets articulate our intentions to be a healthy and engaged community.
- George School seeks to cultivate ethical citizenship in individuals and the institution itself. Rooted in the belief that all have a divine spark, the school aims to inspire a dynamic relationship between self-awareness and social cohesion.
- Alongside encouraging each person “to let their lives speak,” George School endeavors to equip those gathered here to be deep listeners—to others and to themselves.
- Adults and students alike are challenged to discover and embody what it means to be a neighbor to those down the hall, around the corner, and across the world.
- George School desires that the differences between people be a resource, that equity is a catalyst for equality, and that justice reflects the Light.
Rachel encourages students and other community members to take a deep dive into understanding.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Plan
As a Quaker school, we embrace the idea of continuing revelation, meaning that we are open to wisdom and truth as it is revealed to us. With that concept in mind, we invite you to read George School’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Plan for the 2020-2021 school year, to learn more about what is underway in individual divisions and departments, as well as future initiatives. George School will go about this work with humility, and with open hearts and minds, as we individually and as a community ensure a safe, secure, and nurturing school environment for all. And like continuing revelation, this process and commitment have no expiration date, so we remain open to growth.
Find out what is underway in individual divisions and departments, as well as plans for future initiatives.
More to Explore
Rachel Carey-Harper '69 is working towards ending racial injustice and credits, in part, George School for helping form the values that led her to work in social justice. “My first major focus was on violence against women, founding the Clothesline Project in 1990,” she wrote. “About eight years later I switched to working on racial justice.”
Rosetta Lee, teacher, and outreach specialist at the Seattle Girl’s School, recently spoke at assembly, focusing on implicit and unconscious bias in everyday life. She has been a diversity speaker and trainer since 2004, working with a variety of topics including cross-cultural communication, identity development, gender and sexuality diversity, and bias.
The Black@GeorgeSchool Instagram account is an important platform. To those who have contributed to the account and found other ways to share their stories, I am thankful for your open-hearted honesty, and your care and concern that George School lives up to its ideals. I appreciate you and look forward to gathering online soon.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Groups Working on Campus
INCLUSION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Statement of Purpose: The Inclusion Oversight Committee of the George School Board exists to ensure that the George School community understands diversity as an asset and inclusion as an expectation.
Composition: The Committee consists of Trustees, co-opted members, a staff liaison who may be the school’s inclusion professional, and faculty, parent and student representatives. Members serve for a two year term and may serve for consecutive terms subject to approval by the Governance Committee. The clerk must be a Trustee. Committee membership should be intentionally diverse, including people from a variety of cultures, identities, backgrounds, circumstances, and beliefs.
STUDENT INCLUSION COMMITTEE
Meeting at least once per term, the Student Inclusion Committee champions George School’s intention to create and nurture a community that embraces diversity as an enriching educational and cultural resource, as well as sees an accepting and truly inclusive School community as an ethical and strategic priority. This Committee is a thought partner to the Director of Inclusion, its Clerk, and a task force for implementing institutional inclusion initiatives. Consonant with the Quaker idea that “there is that of God in everyone,” the Student Committee on Inclusion supports and, in some instances, leads the School’s efforts to inspire a more equitable and just community.
FACULTY STAFF INCLUSION COMMITTEE
Meeting at least once per term, the Faculty-Staff Inclusion Committee champions George School’s intention to create and nurture a truly inclusive community. This Committee is a thought partner to the Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and a task force for implementing institutional initiatives to ensure that we combat and confront bigotry and biases head-on. Consonant with the Quaker understanding that “there is that of God in everyone,” the Faculty-Staff Inclusion Committee supports and, in some instances, leads the School’s efforts to inspire a more equitable, just, and anti-racist community.
Parents Inclusion Committee
Parents Inclusion Committee of the Parents Association engages parents in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the George School community through school-wide social gatherings, cultural events, and community-wide conversations.
Cyd Carpenter Alumni Network
In honor of George School’s first black student, Cynthia “Cyd” Crooks Carpenter ’47, the aim of this group is to strengthen the connections between alumni of color and allies, support current students of color and engage the school around issues of diversity. The Cyd Carpenter Alumni Network was created in 2016 in the spirit of community and collective enrichment so we welcome all alumni of color and friends to share experiences, whether past or present, and explore any synergies or other networking opportunities that will arise among members of this group.
STUDENT AFFINITY GROUPS
Havurah. Havurah is an affinity group focused on providing a forum for Jewish students to discuss their experiences related to their identity, heritage, and traditions, give Jewish students space to observe their religion away from their local homes and synagogues, as well as have conversations about Jewish history, politics, anti-Semitism and other areas of interest. Havurah hosts many fun and educational events with the community and through the sharing of the customs and culture of Judaism.
LASO. LASO provides support for students of Hispanic descent and gives all students the opportunity to explore the rich culture of Spanish-speaking countries.
LOGOS. LOGOS is an affinity space for people of all Christian denominations to share and fellowship with other Christians at George School. It is also a place for members of the community who are not Christians, to learn and ask questions.
Open Doors. Open Doors is an affinity group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary students, and their straight allies. Open Doors supports students and their families while raising awareness of relevant issues within the school community.
SAMOSA. SAMOSA, George School’s South Asian affinity club, works to promote cultural awareness within our community by celebrating the South Asian culture and educating others about it. Students and community members discuss issues and topics about South Asian identity, learn more about the diverse region and its people, and participate in various traditions and celebrations hosted by the club.
UMOJA. UMOJA is the Swahili word for unity. This George School club is an affinity space for descendants of Africa and the African Diaspora. Members meet regularly to share, learn, and celebrate their identities. Additionally, this space is dedicated to fostering conversation and action about political and social struggles within the black community. The experience of being black at George School and in the world is often a focus of conversation and activities. Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to attend because, in addition to being an affinity space, this group educates the George School community about the culture, heritage, and present-day ethnicity of the descendants of Africa.
Young Friends. Young Friends works to improve the community of George School by offering spiritual support to members and developing activities to further George School as a Quaker community.
Parents Affinity Group
Black Parents at George School (BP@GS) is an affinity group for parents of Black students. The group provides a stronger sense of community, shares information, voices concerns, and works together to support students. BP@GS is committed to partnering with the George School administration in providing an inclusive and enjoyable experience for Black students and to help parents feel more connected to each other and the school. If you would like to join BP@GS, please email blackparentsatGS@gmail.com.
MLK DAY COMMITTEE
This committee plans and implements the school’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration through programming that alternates every year. In the community-focused program, the celebration begins on Sunday night with a special dinner and meeting for worship and continues with a special assembly and seminars throughout the day on Monday. The service focused program differs by including a day of serving neighboring communities on the nationally recognized holiday. Both celebrations conclude with an all-school meeting for worship.