Diversity and Inclusion
Whitfield's Statement on Diversity and Inclusion was composed by a task force of current parents, alumni parents, teachers, administrators, and trustees and approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2015. The board's official adoption of this statement represents an historic moment in Whitfield's institutional life and a clarification of an essential aspect of the school's mission.
The statement reads:
At Whitfield School, we believe that valuing our differences helps us grow as individuals and strengthens our community as a whole. This belief guides our actions with regard to thought, choice, policy, practice, and behavior. As a community, we commit to a culture of active engagement in matters of equity and inclusion, with the goal of developing mindful individuals who participate in an increasingly complex and pluralistic world.
Our Statement on Diversity and Inclusion does not define the kind of diversity we seek or attempt to enumerate its many possible manifestations. The decision to avoid this level of specificity was purposeful so not to limit the definition to its most obvious and typical applications.
We believe that diversity refers to the various types of people who compose our school community, people whose differences are sometimes outwardly apparent and sometimes not. Inclusion, on the other hand, refers to the school’s practices, policies, and activities which ensure that all of us derive the maximum knowledge and benefit from our shared experience.
We strive to provide our students with the very best preparation for life and work in the 21st century. And the goal for our children must not simply be a “level of comfort” with the various kinds of people they will encounter in the years ahead; they must also be able to appreciate, respect, and benefit from the manifold viewpoints such people represent.
In the fall of 2015, the Board of Trustees commissioned a Task Force to explore initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion in our student body and the broader school community. This group, comprised of trustees, current and alumni parents, faculty and staff, met to develop and document a three-year strategy which began in the 2015-2016 school year.
How are we doing?
- 26% of students receive need-based financial aid
- $1,546,850 awarded in need-based financial aid in 2014. All financial aid awards are made based on need and availability of funds without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, or disability
- our students come from 59 local zip codes and 140 different schools
- 30% students of color
Our students of color self-identify as:
Asian, Asian Indian, Native American, and Pacific Islander 10%
- 19% faculty/staff of color
Our faculty/staff of color self-identifies as:
African American/Black 7%
- 8% of our students & 17% of our faculty were born outside of the United States
- 10% of our students & 14% of our faculty hold citizenship in countries outside of the US
- Countries of citizenship within our community include: Israel, Vietnam, Argentina, Mexico, China, Iran, United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Portugal, India, Pakistan, Australia, Jordan, Belgium, France, Colombia, Chile, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Jamaica, Germany
- 8% of our students, 36% of our faculty & 26% of our parents have lived abroad
- Our community speaks the following languages at home: Hebrew, Spanish, Yiddish, Urdu, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Russian, Gujarati, Dutch, French, Amharic, Thai, Flemish, Hindi, Chinese, German
- Our community is:
10% Roman Catholic
3% Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist
1% Greek/Russian Orthodox
3% Other/don’t know
Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism School Climate Survey (Sept 2016)