Fayerweather has long been a school dedicated to helping children develop a deep understanding of social justice and creating an environment where everyone is accepted and feels a sense of belonging. This commitment to diversity, social justice and anti-bias work is foundational to our community and a critical aspect to our teaching and our mission. We strive to help our students understand their place in the world and how they can affect positive change and promote equity for themselves and others.

From the earliest years, children engage in discussions about equity, stereotypes and different “-isms”. These discussions often arise organically out of children’s own wonderings and observations of the world around them. Children begin to learn what it means to stand up for another, or be an “upstander”, by role playing and encouraging one another. These experiences set the stage for deeper, more developmentally sophisticated discussions in the middle grades about injustices, and the people and movements that have worked to effect change. 

Examples of this work include first and second graders comparing and contrasting gender stereotypes by examining toy advertisements, and third and fourth graders petitioning sports teams that use mascots and symbols perpetuating stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples. Our oldest students address issues of bias through curriculum units such as Justice and Dissent in which they study the Holocaust and American Civil Rights Movements. During these studies, students learn about human rights activists and unsung heroes to better understand and unpack biases.

Our goal is to broaden students’ views of themselves and their communities, both local and global. Our curriculum and social justice work is always being informed by current events and the experiences of our students, staff, and families.

List of 5 items.

  • Kids of Color Lunch

    In 1992, at the request of minority students in the fifth and sixth grades, a Kids of Color Affinity Group was begun. Today, weekly Kids of Color Lunches are a time when a large and lively group of students of third through eighth graders connect with each other, share their cultures and history, family events, and classroom projects or just talk about their joys or frustrations. Lunches are hosted by several teachers.

    Students of color value their lunches together; yet they also recognize that some of their white friends might feel excluded or misunderstand their need to sometimes be together. Each month, KoC participants can invite a friend to join them at lunch as a guest.
     
  • Equity Collaborative Committee

    The Equity Collaborative Committee (ECC) is made up of teaching staff and administration, and is dedicated to strengthening our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work. This committee is the central hub for information and planning around this work, including running the staff race-based affinity groups, exploring and evaluating how we bring DEI work into the curriculum, and responding to incidents of injustice or bias that happen in our community and our world. The ECC also recognizes all members of our community as potential resources, understanding that multiple perspectives and voices are necessary to be truly inclusive and equitable. We continually strive to be a school environment where everyone, students, teachers, and families alike, are able to talk about these issues, raise concerns with confidence, receive feedback, and engage in meaningful and often challenging conversations. With the ECC and our strong, caring community, we have the opportunity and responsibility to live our mission fully by making meaningful collective progress in dismantling white supremacy in our school and community.
  • DECC/Adult Affinity Groups

    At Fayerweather, we understand that social justice work is the responsibility of everyone in the community and that learning does not only take place in the classroom. As a way of including the adults in our community (families and staff) in our social justice programming, we have the Diversity, Equity, and Community Committee (DECC) and Adult Affinity Groups.
    DECC plans and provides resources and information to the community on a range of topics, including issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, peace, and social justice. DECC is guided by our school’s mission, families’ questions and concerns, and current events. 

    Since 2013, Fayerweather has run Adult Affinity Groups open to families and staff. These groups meet regularly to engage in challenging conversations and build connections. The groups we currently run are People of Color, Witnessing Whiteness, and an LGBTQ+ Families Affinity group.

    While DECC has always planned and run the affinity groups, this year we have combined the DECC meetings with the affinity group meetings. We are looking forward to getting back to holding DECC planning meetings in person and open to the community.
  • Board Leadership and Diversity

    In the spring of 2015, the community voted to pass a new set of bylaws which among other things, highlighted the Board’s commitment to diversity.

    The bylaws read:
    There shall be a Diversity Committee of the School supported by the Board. The Diversity Committee shall include Board Director participation and shall report to the Board. The Diversity Committee may be chaired by a member of the school community (Member, teacher, staff, administration) or Board Director and shall work to assist in fulfilling the mission of the School regarding diversity work. It is the responsibility of the Board and Head of School to ensure that the Diversity Committee is ongoing.
  • Boston Educators of Color (BEOC)

    Each fall and spring Fayerweather invites Educators of Color to dinner from the greater Boston area to come share their stories and support each as educators. These gatherings, which began in 2008, are planned and facilitated by the Fayerweather faculty and staff of color. Special guest speakers present as well. AISNE generously underwrites this bi-annual event.

Diversity Commitment

Fayerweather is committed to developing a strong sense of community in which every member feels valued.

We work together to examine the roots and issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism and other prejudices within and beyond our school. Within our community, we expect that individual beliefs and feelings will be shared and valued and conflicts will be acknowledged, explored and peacefully resolved.

List of 4 items.

  • 40% of students self-identify as kids of color

  • Over 30% of students receive tuition assistance

  • 27% of faculty and staff identify as people of color

  • Fayerweather is a welcoming community for LGBTQ families

Fayerweather Street School | 765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617-876-4746
Fayerweather is a private PreK, kindergarten, elementary and middle school. We engage each child’s intellect.