Inclusive Community

Moorestown Friends School values the Inner Light in all community members and provides students with opportunities to let their lives speak. Diversity alone is not enough and, curricularly and institutionally, choices must be made to create a truly inclusive community and one that works towards an equitable and just society for all. The MFS community has become steadily more diverse in recent years, including racial, religious, socio-economic, and gender and sexual diversity, among others. Demographically, many sending communities are also growing more diverse each year. In line with the school’s Quaker mission and values, MFS embraces diversity, celebrates all differences, encourages critical thinking, and engages in respectful discourse, allowing all community members to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and others. By providing an environment where students can bring their full selves to school, conditions can be created in which all students can thrive and feel a deep sense of belonging.

Guiding Queries

  • How might we align our curriculum, culture, systems, campus, and institutional structures with our highest vision for inclusion and belonging?
  • How might our community commit to and hold ourselves accountable to open-hearted dialogue and cultural understanding across differences?
  • How could our campus facilities demonstrate our commitment to inclusion and belonging?


MFS students, faculty, and staff will not only be more diverse, but the curriculum, experiences, and institutional systems at the school will also emphasize a commitment to inclusion and belonging. We will work to eliminate barriers to full participation in the MFS experience and create conditions in which all community members can bring their full selves to school, thereby allowing them to thrive.


Further nurture a school culture that honors the diversity of our community and promotes an inclusive experience that is aligned with our Quaker mission and values.

Upcoming Initiatives:

  • Continue to integrate resources from Making Caring Common at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to strengthen a campus-wide culture of belonging
  • Ensure conflict resolution practices that emphasize Quaker values and perspective-taking
  • Promote governance structures and board membership that reflect an institutional commitment to belonging


Develop the school’s capacity to assess and adjust our program, traditions, facilities, and systems through an equity lens.

Upcoming Initiatives:

  • Host guest speakers for families and the general public to foster cultural competency
  • Build an ADA-compliant path from lower to upper campus to create greater campus access


Inclusive Community Snapshot

MFS Partners with Harvard GSE Making Caring Common Project

Moorestown Friends School is partnering with Making Caring Common (MCC) – a Harvard Graduate School of Education project that is a national effort to prioritize moral and social development among children. The program includes classroom and parent/guardian strategies aimed at creating caring and inclusive communities and developing children’s empathy, self-awareness, gratitude, and other capacities that are central to becoming contributing, responsible community members and citizens.

Making Caring Common at Harvard

The MCC partnership will include a school climate and culture assessment later on in this school year to help MFS understand the lived experiences of the school community and to identify areas where a culture of belonging can be strengthened. 

“I love the framework of the Making Caring Common program,” said Director of Diversity and Inclusion Dot López. “We’re actually teaching our community to care for one another, building empathy skills.”

She noted her enthusiasm for the large toolbox of resources and lessons provided to faculty and staff, including three professional development webinars. A great kickoff to the program occurred in early October when MCC Director Richard Weissbourd offered a webinar titled “Raising Caring and Happy Children,” to parents, guardians, and the general public. Richard is also a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Kennedy School of Government.

Dorothy Lopez

Dorothy López
Director of Diversity and Inclusion

According to Dot, there are three themes which will guide the work of the MCC partnership:

  • Building Relationships and Connection with Community
  • Learning and Practicing to Care Across Differences
  • Challenging Students to Understand and Seek Justice

One of the anchor activities will take place this Fall titled “Humans of MFS,” modeled after the popular Humans of New York photoblog and book of street portraits and interviews collected on the streets of New York City.

In the Middle School, all students in grades 5 – 8 will develop an individual snapshot of a peer over the course of a few weeks. Math Teacher Liz Moore is the lead Grade 8 advisor and, together with other lead Middle School advisors, adapted the activity for their students. “Teaching kids to care for one another is at the core of our work,” said Liz. “You can’t have an inclusive community without people trusting each other and having built-in relationships.”

Students will first work on developing their interviewing skills in preparation for empathy interviews with their partners, for whom they will eventually create a Humans of MFS snapshot. Students will learn how to take good interview notes and begin to think about the snapshot they will create, which will also include a photo. All snapshots will feature a 200-250-word caption gleaned from the empathy interview and will reflect “what makes them them.”

Inclusive-Community-FriendsMiddle Schoolers meet within their advisory groups three times over a two-week class cycle, sit together during Meeting for Worship, and also gather together during Community Time. “Advisory is the students’ school home,” said Liz. “It is designed to be a safe place where students can be known and be there for each other. Hopefully students will feel that it is a privilege to tell each other’s stories.”

The culmination of the project will be a “Gallery Walk” in each advisory room containing all snapshots. Students will be asked to silently observe the Gallery Walk and to provide constructive feedback to snapshot creators. Assorted snapshots will also be featured on the main Middle School bulletin board. 

“I am hopeful that this project will create more empathy among students and facilitate deeper conversations in our advisory work,” said Liz. 


inclusive community


global engagement