The Baldwin community embraces each person as a unique individual, recognizing and celebrating our differences and commonalities. We commit to fostering and modeling respectful engagement, open dialogue and thoughtful programming around diversity and equity.
(June 2020) In light of the civil unrest our country is experiencing, we encourage you to read this letter from Head of School Dr. Marisa Porges '96 reaffirming Baldwin's core values as we stand with our Black and Brown community members against racism and acts of hate in any way, shape or form. It explores some of what Baldwin is doing now as well as plans for the future, as we all recommit to work that advances the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will support this mission by:
Being mindful of Baldwin's core values of Learning, Respect, Responsibility, Honesty and Compassion in every engagement, dialogue and programming decision.
Examining the relational and instructional practices that support the transition toward being more inclusive and responsive to our students, their families and Baldwin faculty and staff.
Facilitating education, discussion and experiences to ensure that everyone at Baldwin is seen, heard and supported.
Efforts to recruit and retain faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds are a central part of our hiring, staffing and retention processes. Our goal is to ensure that teachers and other adult leaders at Baldwin reflect the diversity of our student body and the world.
Faculty and staff attend numerous local, regional and national conferences on diversity, equity and inclusion, including the renowned National Association of Independent Schools' People of Color Conference (PoCC). Baldwin faculty and staff also share their expertise at these conferences by presenting.
Baldwin's Lower School has daily class meetings where teachers and students discuss various topics and foster relationships.
Diverse literature in the Lower School library as well as classroom libraries that teachers can utilize to create a welcoming, nurturing environment where all students can see themselves.
Incorporating Global Learning into the Curriculum. Teachers encourage students to listen to different perspectives, organize and participate in diverse groups, respect and embrace cultural differences, effectively communicate with others and to try to create positive change in the world.
Social Studies curriculum explores a number of different cultures, traditions, religions, customs, etc. to encourage girls to respect cultures that are sometimes very different from their own.
Inviting parents who express interest in sharing their culture with the class. Sometimes this includes a lesson about a holiday they celebrate or telling about where they were born, explaining similarities and differences.
Encouraging professional development in areas of globalism, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Continue to develop service projects that directly connect to the curriculum to make it an authentic, meaningful experience for students.
"Mix it Up" lunches in Lower School. Students are encouraged to sit next to new friends each day and try to get to know classmates better.
As a part of the Lower School counseling program, classroom counseling lessons are taught in each grade level on a regular basis. Lessons focus on social and emotional learning and provide students with knowledge and skills appropriate for their developmental level (e.g., perspective-taking, respect for others, empathy, etc.). Classroom counseling lessons will help build students' self-awareness, social awareness and relationship skills.
Lower School Assemblies: Weekly assemblies are community-building events that invite a number of different outside speakers and performers.
Advisory: Weekly meetings where girls learn about self-management, self-awareness, responsible decision making, relationship skills, social awareness and identity. This time provides an opportunity to foster relationships with peers and faculty/staff members and discuss issues relevant to middle school life.
National Mix It Up at Lunch Day: Along with many other schools across the country which resulted in being selected as a Mix It Up Model School. In addition to this one day, the Middle School "mixes it up" weekly by having the students sit with their homeroom or advisory groupings. By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, these on-going experiences encourage the girls to identify, question and cross social boundaries.
Black Student Union (BSU): BSU provides a setting for girls to discuss and bring awareness about issues relevant to black students at Baldwin and in society at-large. This club assumes an integral role in educating our community through conference and assembly participation.
Student Conferences: Annual participation in the Middle School Diversity Conference at The Haverford School and Latinx Youth Conference at the Little Red School House. Students come together from multiple schools representing different states. These programs spur conversations relating to segregation, white privilege, cultural appropriation and racial inequality.
Global Opportunities: Continued opportunities related to service and global experiences embedded within the Middle School approach of combining education and authentic service, reinforcing the need for the girls to be informed, empathetic and active.
Guest Speakers: Continued partnership with Middle School families by sponsoring speakers such as Deborah McCoy, President of Educational Development Services. This Fireside Chat focused on today's issues surrounding middle school aged students and social media.
Our Curriculum: We continually update our Middle School course syllabi and reading lists through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion so that our students hear from and study a diversity of voices. This includes ensuring that our girls read age-appropriate books where authors share personal perspectives as racial and ethnic minorities in America, and including readings on immigration, policing and more.
Student Conferences - the following conferences are just a few our students will participate in or help facilitate over the course of the year: Mid Atlantic Region Diversity Conference, Diversity Dialogue Day, Class/Socioeconomic Status/Financial Literacy Conference, The Haverford Middle School Diversity Conference, the Latin@/Latinx Youth Conference at The Little Red School House and the Annual Friends' Central School Diversity Conference.
"Building Bridges" - an annual Upper School community day that is spent addressing diversity and identity at Baldwin and in the wider world. Students have the opportunity to hear a keynote speaker, participate in student-led discussions and activities throughout the day.
Upper School Advising Program - Students are placed into small groups with a faculty member who they meet with on a weekly basis for their entire Upper School time. Advising sessions allow for open discussions on current events, topics from school assemblies as well as working together on group service learning projects. This valuable time enables students to grow relationships with peers and faculty/staff members.
Clubs and Affinity Groups - Baldwin offers a wide range of extracurricular organizations to help foster relationships and understanding. Some of these groups include: the Asian Students Association, the Black Students Union, Diversity Club, The Hispanic Students Association, the Jewish Cultural Alliance, the Multiracial Students Association and Spectrum (a group for LGBTQ+ students and their allies).
Brown Bag Lunches: These sessions are scheduled throughout the year, both proactively and reactively, to provide a welcoming forum for students to discuss pressing issues on their minds with the support of trained faculty moderators. Discussion topics have included gun violence, how to talk about race, cultural appropriation, Civil War monuments and, most recently, the Black Lives Matter movement.
Our Curriculum: We continue to update our programming to ensure courses, syllabi and readings are considered through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion. Reading lists are amended regularly to ensure students hear from and study a diversity of voices. Recent course offerings include the English Department's "Black in America" and "Identity and the Female Experience" classes, the latter of which explores literary accounts of ethnic experiences of women in the context of recent American history, and a redesigned "American Politics" course that covers issues of race, identity and inequality.
Co-Chairs of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee