“Baldwin’s diversity is real, not symbolic.”
This statement was made by a visiting accreditation team in 1989 and is more apparent now than ever before. More than a third of our student body bring diversity and multiculturalism, which are integral to our community and make Baldwin unique among our peer schools. We regularly explore ways to incorporate these qualities into our daily lives at school, striving to engage students, parents, and faculty in opportunities to learn from each other and grow together. Some of the ways we do this are through our:
- unique partnerships with other schools and organizations, both locally and around the world. Whether it is doing service projects together with students from the Overbrook High School, exchanging handmade books and letters with the girls at the Khanote School in Pakistan, or learning from the two week cultural exchange with the Notre Dame de Mongré in France, our girls are engaged in exciting opportunities for global awareness and service.
- direct and open conversation. With a diverse community, we have the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about our differences and similarities both in the classrooms and in bigger assemblies. Our SIS team works with students and families of all ages to discuss any questions, suggestions, and concerns.
- dynamic curriculum. From an extensive heritage unit in Grade 1, to the cultural anthropology course in Grade 6, to PEACE Day in Upper School, our girls are exposed to a diverse array of literature, music, current events, and more throughout their time at Baldwin. These are not “one-shot” units that give the girls a taste of important issues but a sampling of some of the many ways we incorporate diversity in our curriculum every day.
- community service, a program designed to contribute to the community and to learn from others. Our involvement in the community extends beyond any one neighborhood or organization, and focuses on several groups with whom we feel we can truly make an impact. Each month, a group of students and faculty go to the Family Support Services in Philadelphia to help with the young children while their parents are in class. We work together with students from the Overbrook School for the Blind helping at their swim meets, hosting them for lunch and classes at Baldwin, and building strong friendships. We support the Philadelphia public schools with book drives that, in 2009, allowed us to deliver over 1200 books to some of their schools most in need. And that’s just the beginning.
- international experiences throughout the world. Our students welcome the opportunity to travel and do service projects in Costa Rica, sing in numerous venues from cathedrals to retirement homes in Scandanavia, Italy or elsewhere, work at an orphanage in Tanzania, snowshoe in Quebec, or study at our sister school in Cambridge, England. Each of these experiences, plus others we coordinate, expand our students’ global awareness and appreciation of cultural differences.
Our girls embrace our diversity and recognize it as part of their daily lives.
We have students who travel to Baldwin from over 70 different zip codes and a wide range of neighborhoods. We have students whose parents were raised in many other countries including India, Russia, Iran, Denmark, Australia, Egypt, Korea, Puerto Rico, and Barbados. We welcome the opportunity to learn about a variety of religions from our students including those who are Baptist, Catholic, Buddhist, Jewish, Quaker, Hindu, and more.
In the Upper School, Baldwin has over 40 clubs, founded and run by the girls. Our Asian Student Alliance and Black Students Union are open to all, with the hope that students who are not in those affiliation groups will learn more about those who are. From AIDS awareness to BURN (Baldwin Understanding Religions Network), the girls are curious and supportive of each other and challenges that they, and others around the world, face. Our Diversity Club organizes the annual PEACE (People Embrace All Cultures Everywhere) Day, during which time all Upper School students spend the day running workshops for their peers and openly discussing specific topics of their choice.
Diversity at Baldwin is simply a part of who we are. It is what often draws people to our school and is one of the reasons Baldwin students are truly “thinking girls”.