Equity, Justice, and Community

As a Quaker school, the values of equity, justice, and community (EJC) are deeply woven into the Sidwell Friends educational mission.

The School continually strives to build a community grounded in respect that is committed to pursuing truth and justice and to embracing equity in every aspect of its programs. As a community, the School aspires to be an environment where all students are fully seen and heard. To serve every student effectively is to nurture their intellectual, social, and spiritual growth through habits of mind and heart—to teach deep listening and self-reflection. The School encourages students to speak their truths and question assumptions, to demonstrate empathy and compassion, and to develop an enduring curiosity about and commitment to the world around them. Read the School's Diversity Statement.

Diversity Statement

Sidwell Friends School affirms the centrality of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of academic and campus life. Honoring a multiplicity of voices, we celebrate shared joys and address tensions productively. Together, we are guided by Quaker testimonies and seek to answer the question, "How do we nurture a sense of belonging in our community and demonstrate our commitment to a just world?"

Approved September 10, 2015

Strategic Goal One

Focus on Directly Supporting
a Student-Centered Experience

Create and maintain a student-centered approach to all EJC work, increase student EJC programming and co-curricular experiences, and increase student collaboration in institutional planning.

What empowering programs should Sidwell Friends create to support equity in resources and experience?

How can the School best incorporate and leverage student voices? 

What ways can Sidwell Friends keep the mission of the School at the forefront of its practice? 

Strategic Goal Two

Evaluate Current Structures and Systems, and Address Programmatic Gaps

Create a reflective, evaluative culture in which Sidwell Friends regularly and critically assesses institutional, divisional, and departmental policies, procedures, systems, structures, and curricula to identify and address those that may be harmful, inequitable, or indirectly cause inequities.

What structures and policies must be evaluated and addressed? 

What evaluative structures and systems must be created? 

What benchmarks are necessary to determine progress? 

Strategic Goal Three

Broaden the EJC Practice

Broaden EJC practice so that it encourages community members to seek and honor diverse voices, to practice inquiry and empathy, and to act with purpose and integrity.

How does Sidwell Friends actively engage all community members in EJC work? 

How can the School differentiate experiences in order to meet people where they are? 

What strategies will ensure that Sidwell Friends continues to learn and evolve? 

Strategic Action Plan


erived from focus groups and conversations that represent the student, parent, alumni, and employee perspectives, this action plan puts an institutional focus on creating and sustaining successful and adaptive EJC practices. In order to educate leaders and practice Quaker values, the School must examine its own history and current operations, and find ways to create greater equity for students. Doing so requires Sidwell Friends to dismantle unjust systems and structures, and to replace them with anti-racist, anti-discriminatory practices—practices that will demand focused effort and commitment.

The plan is centered first and foremost on the students: The School’s mission is to promote their education, provide growth opportunities, and furnish the resources they need to excel. As we collect and assess data, we will eventually establish benchmarks to create standards and measure growth. This work will be far- reaching and aspirational, although these efforts will undoubtedly sometimes fall short. To keep steadfast to a commitment to EJC means we must constantly and actively listen and learn from the voices of our community. The School must remain forever dedicated to striving toward its goal: a student experience that inherently and explicitly allows every member of a pluralistic student body to feel at home, to develop a passion for learning, and to let their lives speak for equity and justice in all aspects of their lives.

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