Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
We affirm that a diverse community of students, faculty, administration, staff, trustees, and alumni is essential to who we are as a school. We respect and value diversity, which includes, but is not limited to, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, family structure, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background, as the basis for fostering a strong sense of self, community, and global understanding.
GSB is mission-driven to be an inclusive, multicultural community that respects individual differences, inspires commitment to one another and prepares students for the colleges, workplaces, and neighborhoods of their futures.
Recognizing that diversity is essential for creating an environment that is conducive to excellence in education, GSB fosters and supports meaningful diversity throughout our school and community by deepening our students' understanding of differences in race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity, ability, age and socioeconomic status.
We believe a school community should reflect a variety of ethnic, racial, economic, religious and social circumstances; all are fundamental to a 21st century education. Among its core values, Gill affirms that a diverse learning community of students, faculty, administration, trustees, alumni and staff is an essential element to who we are as a school.
Beginning with the early childhood program and culminating in the Upper School, GSB students respect and value individual differences, seeing them as the basis for fostering a strong sense of self, community, and global understanding.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Community (DEIC) Action Plan
In response to the continuing racial heartache that is befalling our nation, Gill St. Bernard’s School openly embraces and accepts its responsibility for resetting curriculum, programs, policies, and practices as the basis for long-term, comprehensive, and sustainable change. In collaboration with the broader GSB community, including students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, senior administration and the board of trustees, we are intentionally listening to and learning from all voices, including those who have been marginalized and often unheard. Aligned with the school’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, we created the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community (DEIC) Action Plan to serve as a guiding framework for improving and enhancing the racial, ethnic, and multicultural climate in our school and in creating an authentically inclusive anti-racist community.
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment and that we move beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences.
It is important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, we foster a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic. "Diversity" means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference.
Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:
- Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment;
- Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own;
- Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing; and
- Building alliances across differences so that we can work together to build a more supportive community.
Diversity includes knowing how to relate to those qualities and conditions that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups.
These include but are not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual identity, as well as religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, and work experiences.
Finally, we acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.
Student & Community Engagement
To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, students Maysa Johnson ’22 and Travian McNair ’21 presented personal reflections about Dr. King at the virtual Upper School Assembly on January 19. Maysa talked about how little she actually knew about the Civil Rights hero and shared what she had recently learned, including his given name is Michael and that he started college at age 15. For Maysa, this quote of Dr. King still resonates today: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance or unconscientious stupidity.” Next, Travian honored Dr. King with a moving tribute and asserted that he would not be here today without the Freedom Fighter’s work and struggles. “We are all dreamers trying to find our place in the world,” Travian said. “I will never forget to leave an impact on those around me.”
Broader Community Connections
The diversity of our community is matched by our emphasis on multicultural education and our ongoing focus on the lived experience of our community members inside and outside the walls of the school. At GSB, we are aware that we live in a global community and that contributions to our society have come from every corner of the globe and every strata of society.
Middle School Equity and Inclusion Summit
Hosted by GSB, this conference brings together seventh and eighth grade independent and public-school students to engage in discussions centered on inclusion and belonging in their schools. The conference aims to help student leaders become agents of change in their communities.
Alumni of Color Network
In partnership with the Director of Alumni Affairs, the Alumni of Color Network provides an additional space for our alumni to connect with each other across interests, professions, and graduation class, as well as to stay connected to the current student community.