Working toward equity in all that we do

Central to the Ethical Culture Fieldston School’s mission is teaching all of our children to approach the world with empathy, compassion, and understanding. We focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) so that we can create an environment in which our students can truly thrive — and one that prepares them to actively and thoughtfully engage with the world around them.

Our approach to DEI includes working toward making the School an equitable place for the whole community.

We believe that understanding ourselves in the context of our community, understanding other members of our community, and seeing beyond our immediate community to understand and appreciate the diversity that exists in the world will create better citizens — both at ECFS and beyond.

DEI initiatives and activities at Ethical Culture, Fieldston Lower, the Middle School, and the Upper School touch every part of our students’ education, from curricular planning to assemblies to clubs.

The Ethical Culture Fieldston School Approach to DEI

Creating an environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive is critical at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Diversity, equity, and inclusion each inform our programming, and we focus on the intersection of the three. 

At the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, we are committed to diversity — including diversity of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, disability status, religion, and culture. To that end, our Admissions Office actively works to recruit applicants of color, and the School similarly takes great care to attract employees of color. Both admissions and employee recruiting efforts are being constantly assessed and examined to increase their success. 

Equity is similarly critical, meaning that we work to challenge bias and discrimination of any kind, aiming to give true equal opportunity, access, and treatment to everyone in our community, regardless of identity. We examine the systemic power structures that create inequity, focusing on disbanding them both on an institutional level and in the wider world. In the school setting, our efforts toward equity include a reporting system for all student complaints relating to bias, bigotry, or racism on campus; transparent attrition and bias data; and anti-bias training for faculty, staff, administrators, and parents.

We examine the systemic power structures that create inequity, focusing on disbanding them both on an institutional level and in the wider world.

Finally, we strive to be as inclusive as possible, creating an environment in which differences are celebrated, where people across the broad spectrum of identities are welcomed, and where each member of our community can feel a sense of belonging. One of our core strategies for fostering an inclusive atmosphere is our unique curriculum that draws resources and scholarship from a wide variety of perspectives and cultures. Through this work, students can see themselves represented in their learning and also engage the experiences and thinking of others. 

At ECFS, learning comes with purpose: to be a clear and daring thinker, to be good and kind, to be competent and skillful, to be an engaged citizen, to be an agent of positive change. This is education that prepares students not simply for college, but for life.

Read Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion FAQs here.