Diversity at AFS is one of our deepest strengths and resources and one of our most important challenges.
It is work that touches all spheres of our community, from the personal to the professional and engages us intellectually, emotionally, morally and spiritually.
At Abington Friends School, our work is deeply rooted in the Quaker tradition. Our focus on Friends faith and practice orients us toward inclusion and the skills of collaborative inquiry that make best use of the multiple perspectives in our midst.
Our excellence as a school is tied to the intellectual depth and sophistication that comes from engaging diversity in all of its human and intellectual complexity. Excellence for our students is rooted in their understanding of a diverse world and the dynamics of power and privilege. We intentionally cultivate the skills of engaging and navigating multiple points of view within a culturally responsive curriculum and program.
We are deeply committed to helping our students develop and celebrate their voices in our community and beyond and we are driven by a sense of justice in this work as we seek to understand and counter the historic and current-day patterns of oppression.
For more information, contact Toni Williamson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
The following principles inform our daily practice:
The curriculum, program and climate of the School must reflect the diverse backgrounds of the members of the school community, of the wider local community and of the global community in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, gender and ability.
Excellence in Teaching & Learning
Excellence in teaching and learning can only occur in a school community that honors the multiple perspectives provided by individuals and groups with a wide variety of backgrounds.
Role of Identity & Privilege
An understanding of the role of identity and privilege in society and in school must be intentionally built into the education of students and the professional development of adults in the community.
The curriculum and program of the School must foster thoughtful questioning and critical thinking about the historically inequitable distribution of power and privilege throughout the world, and must support students in understanding the impact of these inequities and in taking action to fight injustice.
Cultural competency is essential in developing a just and equitable learning community for all of its members; the School must commit necessary resources to provide learning experiences for all adults and students that support this.
A Just, Equitable and Inclusive Community
The work of creating a more just, equitable and inclusive school community must happen both on the personal and the institutional levels; the School must provide necessary resources to support both institutional transformation and individual self-exploration and growth around issues of difference.
For several years now, Upper School students from AFS have been teaming up with their peers at the Perkiomen School to host the student-led Mid Atlantic Regional Diversity Conference.
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Rebecca Macey, a senior who leads the Gender Sexuality Alliance, would be the first to admit that she has strong opinions about everything, and she isn’t afraid to express them. “I love being an activist,” she said. “I love being outspoken. I love when people argue with me because I love having an opinion and feeling like my opinion is the truth, but knowing there are other truths out there.”
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Ben Shuster ’17 was recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as the Grand Prize Winner for his essay, “Eyes Wide Open,” which he wrote after attending the Anti-Defamation League’s 9th Annual Youth Leadership Conference in October. The essay contest on “Exploring Diversity, Challenging Hate” was open to students from 46 schools who had participated in the daylong meeting.
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