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Diversity and Inclusion

Chicago Friends School believes that all people are equally capable, human, and deserving of inclusion, regardless of race, income level, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or religion.

Friends schools have a proud tradition of equality and diversity. William Penn Charter School, the first Quaker school, was founded in 1689. Scholarships to include those of limited means were introduced in 1701, girls were admitted in 1754, and all races were included beginning in 1770.

Chicago Friends School is actively working on issues of diversity and equity. We are proud to include people of different religions, learning styles, income levels, and sexual orientations/gender identities within our community. In 2018-2019 18% of our student body were people of color. However, our student body is not yet as racially or ethnically diverse as we would like to be. A working group of staff, parents, and community members formed in 2017 and will be working on how to make the school more truly represent the diversity of Chicago in the years ahead. In 2019, partners at Loyola University Chicago worked with us to audit our capacity for diversity and identify partners for diversity going forward.

We do this because we know that diversity makes us stronger. When students and adults in the community engage with others from different backgrounds and perspectives as empathetic peers, we expand our understanding of the world and our place in it. This is sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes challenging, but always a crucial part of becoming a fully developed human being. The best tool we have to build a fair, just, and loving future is to help our students learn, strive, and find common ground with many kinds of people.

Bayard Rustin Scholarship. This is a scholarship named for the civil rights leader who championed gay rights and a non-violent approach for change. He was instrumental in helping with MLK’s March on Washington and established the Freedom Riders, who helped disenfranchised citizens become registered voters in the south. In honoring Bayard Rustin, this scholarship is part of our strategic plan to increase the representation of traditionally underrepresented populations in independent schools. Preference is given to families with demonstrated financial need, or families for whom paying tuition presents a hardship. For more information on Bayard Rustin, click here


Nondiscrimination policy

Chicago Friends School admits students of any race, color, creed, religion, national and ethnic origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national and ethnic origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies,
scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.