Diversity & Multiculturalism
At Westminster School, diversity combines respect, empathy, engagement and growth. We are invested in fostering an inclusive environment, where students of all backgrounds trust that they have a safe space to contribute their ideas, share their stories, and learn from their classmates. We want our students to be authentic and inspired to learn from those different from them.
Diversity defies simple categorization. That said, we strive to bring multiculturalism into our school in a variety of ways. For example, we celebrate that 15% of our students come from abroad. Also, as a non-denominational school, our chapel is open to students, faculty and families of all faiths and creeds and is a space for individuals to share personal experiences.
Diversity instills in students a joy of lifelong learning and the courage to overcome whatever challenges they may face on their own or in support of others. Student groups that initiate such conversations surrounding multiculturalism include – but are not limited to – the Multicultural Student Union, Gender & Sexuality Alliance, International Student Organization, The Gathering (our male African-American and Black affinity group), Ladies of Color, and GOTWOT (Girls of Today, Women of Tomorrow).
Programs & Partnerships
Westminster School’s commitment to diversity in education drives its support for programs that foster global awareness and encourages students to experience cultural immersion. To help us ensure the robust diversity of our international student population, we have longstanding partnerships with programs like ASSIST (American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers), the Davis International Scholars Program, and the Royal Thai Scholar Program. Through ESU (the English-Speaking Union Secondary School Exchange), Westminster welcomes a native English speaker to our campus and offers a Martlet the chance to spend a postgraduate year studying in the UK. Westminster’s membership in the School Year Abroad (SYA) program also gives students a safe and reputable option to spend a full academic year living and studying overseas. Since joining the program in 1992, Westminster students have gained cultural competency, language fluency and defining life experience studying in France, China, Italy, and Spain.
Within Westminster’s diverse community, all students learn together through sharing perspectives, experiencing new activities, and competing in athletics. The world at once becomes a larger and smaller place for everyone. Students can have breakfast with a friend from England, debate in class with a student from Afghanistan, compete side-by-side with a teammate from Ghana, and study with a friend from an unfamiliar region of the United States. Diversity enriches today’s school environment and prepares students to enter the truly global community that is their future.
Many different backgrounds come together at Westminster, united by an abiding school spirit, a common set of goals for educational achievement, abundant teaching and learning moments, and numerous opportunities for students to work, perform and play together. Preconceived notions are often dispelled through activities and discussions about differences, leading to a more open and caring culture that celebrates –not merely tolerates– diversity.