Diversity & Inclusivity
From its founding, Carolina Friends School has sought to be a vibrant, dynamic, and diverse community.
We believe that an inspiring and inclusive education can only be fully realized through a learning community that provides diversity in many ways. Motivated by this belief, we strive to be better. This work is central to each role, particularly our human resources and admissions staff.
Our staff Diversity & Inclusivity Committee leads us in our all-school efforts to increase the racial diversity of Carolina Friends School and maintain a school climate centered on inclusivity and equity.
The story of our School is rooted in the long history of Quakers who worked to eliminate slavery, segregation, and other injustices. From this tradition we were founded in the early 1960’s as one of the first schools in the South deliberately to pursue a policy of racial integration. Our belief in the innate worth of each person and in the uniquely valuable heritage of every cultural group guides our practice as a multicultural community and our commitment to authentic personal relationships and peaceful resolution of conflict, at CFS and in our lives outside of School.
The challenge and goal of Carolina Friends School is to help each student participate fully in a dynamic community of learners, in essence “bringing their whole selves to school.” Through this process, our students strive to understand their own gifts and the gifts of others, to use these gifts to serve and empower, and to seek truth and justice, at CFS and beyond.
The Diversity & Inclusivity Committee has generated an action plan to meet the following goals:
- Recruit and retain more students and staff members of color
- Assess and enhance the curriculum and define race equity goals for each unit
- Provide advanced race equity training for staff members
- Restructure the leadership of diversity, inclusivity, and equity work to be more comprehensive
- Create sustained institutional supports for members of our community
Recruitment and Hiring
The Diversity and Inclusivity Committee collaborated with the Salary and Benefits Committee to expand job recruitment efforts and to clarify and give greater transparency to the hiring process. Our hiring process now places greater emphasis on attracting candidates with a commitment to cultural competency, inclusivity, and race equity. Currently, we have approximately 14% staff of color and 24% students of color.
Support of Students, Families, and Staff of Color
In collaboration with the staff Diversity and Inclusivity committee, CFS has supported the formation of several affinity groups to support students and staff of color and strengthen diversity at CFS. Asiya Gusa, Upper School Teacher and Diversity Coordinator, serves as an advisor and/or liaison to these groups.
- Diversity and Multicultural Club (DMC) in the Upper School
- Parents of Students of Color (PSOC) affinity group
- Triangle Faculty and Staff of Color (FSOC) affinity group
Support of LGBTQ Community
CFS is proud to provide a safe and welcoming environment to support our LGBTQ students, staff and families.
- GLOW (Gay, Lesbian or Whatever) club in the Middle School
- Community participation in NC Pride parade
- Efforts across campus to provide gender-neutral bathrooms
There are many exciting ways in which our curriculum is infused with diversity, inclusivity, and equity. Following a survey to assess the ways in which the curriculum advances diversity, inclusivity, and equity, each unit collaborated to define race equity goals. Some of these goals include identifying and enhancing diversity within our curriculum, providing multiple perspectives and historical context, and creating dynamic experiences with guest teachers and members of the greater community.
Beginning in 2015, all new staff members must complete advanced race equity training, such as trainings offered by the Racial Equity Institute (REI). Additionally, in 2015-2016, our whole staff participated in a year-long professional development program focused on diversity, inclusivity, and equity. Each year members of our community attend conferences including the NAIS People of Color Conference, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, the White Privilege Conference, and others.
The committee has examined various models and best practices, looking at local schools, the Friends network, and comparable schools across the nation. We envision a director-level position who can lead our collective efforts to meet our goals. This director would work closely with our Director of Admission, our Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning, and unit representatives from across campuses.
We are currently hiring for a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Special Programs and Community Outreach
Carolina Friends School is proud to host a number of opportunities which engage the whole community in topics related to diversity, inclusivity, and race equity.