Diversity and Inclusion at Galloway

Galloway is a school that celebrates, values, and welcomes the diversity of the human experience. We believe that diversity of perspectives and people create a learning environment that facilitates meaningful inquiry, enhances academic, artistic and athletic mastery and promotes human dignity and personal growth.

The diversity of our students, families, faculty and staff and the diversity of experiences that we welcome and create, is integral to instilling in our students an abiding love for learning and preparing them to live successfully as enlightened citizens in a changing world. Moreover, research indicates that diverse learning environments enhance a student’s complex critical thinking abilities.

Creating and sustaining a diverse school community requires commitment, reflection, thoughtful, and deliberate action. Understanding this, Galloway works to create and maintain an open, inclusive learning environment.

History

The Galloway School’s founder and Board of Trustees were careful and deliberate in making the school inclusive from its beginning in 1969. They were committed to forming a school that was economically, socially, religiously and racially diverse. As a result of their efforts, about two dozen African-American children were enrolled the first year the school opened, including two sons of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King III entered as a Middle Learning student and continued through his graduation in 1975. Dexter attended from Early Learning through the first year of Upper Learning (1969-1976). Later, Bernice attended Galloway for several years. Today, Galloway remains committed to being a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming school community.

Student Clubs & Activities

Galloway Girl Talk

Galloway Girl Talk (GGT) is a chapter of Girl Talk Inc., which is a nonprofit organization where high school girls mentor middle school girls to build self-esteem, develop leadership skills, and recognize the value of community service.

Intersectional Feminist Book Club

The Intersectional Feminist Book Club creates a place for readers who want to intensely discuss and think on heavier topics such as race, gender, class, and sexuality through a feminist lens. Through books, essays, art, and other works we explore identity, relationships and community.

Manāna

Manāna is an organization started by Saachi Datta ’17 that celebrates the lives of underprivileged children by throwing birthday parties and other events that create happy memories.

Minority Empowerment Forum

The purpose of the Minority Empowerment Forum (M.E. Forum ) is to provide a comfortable space for students to discuss issues and ideas around being a racial and/or ethnic minority student at Galloway. Members are able to mentor, educate and support each other as well as create opportunities for the majority group to learn about the importance of cultural competency.

Spanish and Latino Students Association

The Spanish and Latino Students Association (SALSA) is dedicated to improve the school community’s understanding of Latin American culture and the Spanish language. The ultimate goal is to provide an awareness of the local Spanish-speaking community in Atlanta.

Spectrum

Spectrum aims to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals at Galloway as well as welcome anyone who desires to learn about issues of gender and sexuality. The club also aims to promote acceptance around the community and host events to spread awareness.

Diversity and Inclusion in the Curriculum

Diversity and Inclusion themes are woven throughout the curriculum at all three levels. A few examples include:

Excursion and Immersion Topics

Social Justice and Tourism
During this excursion experience, students connect with the wealth of cultural resources related to social justice, racial justice, and global perspectives with an emphasis on how visitors perceive the City of Atlanta.They tour the King Center, the Human and Civil Rights Museum, and the Mexican Consulate to gain an increased awareness of current issues in the struggle for social justice as well as Atlanta’s role in sparking conversation about justice and equality. They use this information to develop a marketing campaign to promote tourism for Atlanta using social justice and civil rights as the draw.

The intersection of Art and Social Justice
Students explore the role that art can play in illuminating and re-contextualizing social issues. The City of Atlanta serves as the research site for examples of “separate but equal,” starting with the glaring examples of the original uses of Galloway’s Gresham Building and the Chastain Arts Center.Students conduct research at the Atlanta History Center, looking at examples of artists who used their work as a vehicle to reflect on social and political issues of their time.

Cultural Diversity within Atlanta
Students go off campus for a deliberate investigation of African, Asian, and Latino cultures through experiences with supermarkets, flea markets, and cultural/learning centers located in the Buford Highway corridor and Clarkston.

Refugee Resettlement
Upper Learning students spend a week setting up an apartment for a newly-arriving refugee family, help with the Family Literacy Project with mothers and preschool-aged children, work in the Jolly Avenue refugee garden, and collaborate with Communicycle at the Clarkston Community Center to provide bicycles to refugees for transportation.

Comparative Religions
As part of the Immersion experience called Culture and Religion Beyond our Walls: Sparking Curiosity, students view five major religions from a historical, cultural and philosophical perspective. Sixth-graders explore Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, all of which sixth graders encounter in the Ancient History curriculum. During the week, students get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour corresponding houses of worship throughout Atlanta. Additionally, students learn about religious/cultural music, dance, food, and the artistry of symbols. The goal is for students come away with a deeper understanding of the concepts of culture and religion, an awareness of various religious and cultural beliefs, and an appreciation for individuality of spirituality.

Leadership and Service
Middle Learning students are exposed to different types of service as they rotate through a variety of meaningful opportunities during their Immersion experience. Students spend time in Clarkston, Georgia, working with refugee children from 40 different countries. They interact with the families and help the children with classes and homework. They visit Safe House Outreach whose mission is "to provide a hand-up, not just a hand-out," for homeless men and women across the city. They have the honor of serving breakfast to people who live much of their lives in the margins. A visit to nursing homes around the city provide students with an opportunity to serve people who are vulnerable in a different way.They make blankets, played bingo, and sung songs that brighten the day of the residents and nurses alike!Eighth-graders also have the opportunity to visit the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the National Historic Site dedicated to preserving his legacy. In a documentary about his life, he eloquently stated: "When I die, I …want to be remembered for dedicating my life to the service of others." The students not only understand his importance as a result of this excursion, but how fortunate we are to live in a city so rich with history.

Literature

Students read books and essays across the curriculum, which challenge them to examine their perspectives on the world by seeing things through the eyes of another. Some examples are: Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space, which reflects on issues related to race, gender, stereotype, and discrimination; Tangerine explores racial and socioeconomic stereotypes and how communities differ; Every Single Second highlights racial divide through the evolving lens of a 12-year old Caucasian girl living in Little Italy; Letter from a Birmingham Jailin which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism; and A Long Walk to Water, which tells a story of refugees in search for their families and for a safe place to stay.

Social Studies

Civil Rights Dinner Party -- As part of their study of the Civil Rights Movement in America, social studies students research key figures of the Movement, and then they pose as their key figures and throw a “dinner party” to learn about each other’s accomplishments.

As a culminating project in geography, students select a human right to examine in detail as it pertains to a particular country and demographic group.Students then prepare a "UN Brief" that they present to their peers who use it to help decide which cause/organization the class will support with money that they raise.Last year, students raised $300 to contribute to the Women and Children Watch Initiative, a NGO that is committed to preventing, eliminating, and providing lasting solutions to gender violence.

Psychology

As part of the curriculum for Upper Learning Psychology, students explore social psychology, which is largely about ethnic and racial diversity.

Anthropology

Physical and cultural anthropology deal with the fundamental aspects of human diversity: evolution, concept of race, and cultural relativism.

Arts

Wednesday Morning Concerts
Wednesday Morning Concerts are held in the Chaddick lobby each week and include a variety of genre from different cultures and subcultures.

Annual Galloway/Torch concert
During the annual Galloway/Torch concert, student share love of playing music with students from various racial/socio-economic backgrounds.

Winter Dance Concert
During the Winter Dance Concert, students explore social justice themes around people who have been silenced.

Science

Biology classes include AIDS projects that look at global and local issues concerning who contracts AIDS, who has access to medicines, and the subsequent impact on LGBTQ communities, etc. The same inquiry is applied to the study of diseases like rabies, sickle cell anemia, malaria, etc.

Initiatives and Programs

BOLD Summit

Less than one-percent of all K-12 schools in the US have a person of color in the role of Head of School, and Galloway is one of those schools.In 2016, Galloway made a conscious decision to advance the conversation around leadership opportunities for people of color by launching a special initiative called The BOLD Summit (Building Opportunities for Leadership Development). It is an annual gathering of passionate educators of color who are looking to grow in their careers and make an impact on education through leadership in an independent school. BOLD Summit is focused on equipping educators of color with the tools and confidence needed to become the BOLD leaders of the future.

Families of Color United for Success (FoCUS)

Families of Color United for Success' mission is to serve as an inclusive group for families or students at The Galloway School who identify themselves as people of color. We periodically meet to develop a stronger community through fellowship and purposeful activities. We are also a group that supports and promotes The Galloway School’s diversity initiatives and programs in various ways.

The Galloway Speaker Series

The Galloway School Speaker Series was established in 2009 as part of the school’s 40th Anniversary celebration. Distinguished guests are invited to speak to the entire Galloway community about their unique life experiences with the goals of broadening our thinking and inspiring our students to stretch to their full potential. Galloway students prepare for each speaker prior to his/her arrival so that they can get the most out of the experience and are prepared to engage in a question and answer session following the presentation. All parents, alumni, alumni parents, trustees, and former faculty are invited to attend the program along with current students, faculty, and staff.

The Galloway School Speaker Series has featured such distinguished guests as legendary baseball player Hank Aaron, Congressman John Lewis, and Ambassador Andrew Young.

Gender Inclusivity

The Galloway School is committed to respecting and honoring the diversity found in the school’s community including the right of individuals to self-identify their gender and to feel safe and comfortable while using our facilities. A gender-inclusive restroom is located prominently at the front of school.

PoCC Participation

The People of Color Conference (PoCC), sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) provides a safe space for leadership, professional development and networking for people of color and allies of all backgrounds in independent schools. Each year, Galloway sends a delegation of faculty and staff to participate in PoCC.

SDLC

The Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of high school leaders across the US and focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. Participants develop effective cross-cultural communication skills, better understand the nature and development of effective strategies for social justice, practice expression through the arts, and learn networking principles and strategies. Galloway sends several students who have demonstrated a passion for igniting social justice change to this conference each year.

SEED

SEED is a national peer-led professional development program that promotes change through self-reflection and interpersonal dialogue and builds capacity for more equitable curriculum, campuses, and communities. Teachers at Galloway participate in facilitated conversation to discover their own biases and to examine how those are manifested in the classroom. These conversations take place with the goal of building capacity for more equitable classrooms.

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