Our diversity is the core of our humanity.
At Pomfret, we have been "leaning-in" for more than fifty years. The first African American student graduated from Pomfret in 1961, the first female was accepted in 1968, and the first financial aid package was awarded in 1975. Today, the scale and scope of our work on race, gender, and class has expanded to include virtually every measure of diversity — from religion and sexual orientation to age and ability to culture and appearance. At Pomfret, it's what we do together that sets us apart.
- Gender and Sexuality Alliance
- International Students Club
- Faculty Diversity Council
GSA is an open-door, open-minded, open-hearted LGBTQ awareness group on campus. In the words of Bayard Rustin, we seek to be "angelic trouble makers" in the name of social justice. Our mission is to create a safe environment for LGBTQ members on campus and to educate the community about the rights and perspectives of LGBTQ people. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend our bi-weekly meetings. GSA is responsible for organizing the Day of Silence.
Hillel is the Jewish organization on campus, open to all community members of all faiths. Hillel aims to foster Judaism, Jewish culture and heritage, and engage the larger Pomfret community in reflection and learning. The group celebrates the major holidays, and hosts events and meals. It aims to make all Jewish students feel welcome on campus however they observe Judaism.
Hillel celebrates the following holidays:
- Rosh Hashanah: Challah braiding and apple picking
- Sukkot: pizza party under the pergola
- Chanukah: Chanukah party
- Purim: Mask making and hamantaschen cookie baking
- Passover Seder
- National Day of Unplugging
- Shabbat: Monthly Dinners
- Yom HaShoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day): Observation and reflection
CultureFest is a student-run group that seeks to recognize and celebrate the different cultures represented within the Pomfret community through education and entertainment. By providing opportunities for community members to sample different cultures, we hope to foster a spirit of inquiry and appreciation that will lead to a deeper understanding of our shared cultural heritage. CultureFest seeks to educate its audience as well as to entertain it.
In order to accomplish these goals, we organize the following activities:
- CultureFest Week: A spring show that combines music, theatre, dance, poetry and story-telling among other forms of self expression
- Trips to ethnic themed restaurants
- Articles on important national days and cultural practices of our students and faculty in the Pontefract
- Small workshops that explore cultural practices
The Faculty Diversity Council is the administrative body tasked with implementing Pomfret's Diversity Strategic Plan. During the school year, the group meets on a regular basis to coordinate special events, support various clubs and organizations, and to advocate for specific school reforms.
- Steve Davis, Head – Director of Diversity & Community Relations
- Adolphus Clinton '92 – Dean of Students
- Tim Deary '05 – French Teacher
- Jillian Forgue – Spanish Teacher
- Louisa Jones – Advancement Officer
- Joe Kremer – Director of International Admissions
- Olinda LaBeef – Math Teacher
- Sunny Min – Chinese Teacher
- Bridget Tsemo – English Department Chair
- Katie Wells – History Department Chair
The Virginia S. Eaton Multicultural Resource Center was established in December 2015 to enrich the Pomfret community through increased knowledge, awareness, and understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives by addressing issues such as racism, sexism, economic and social inequity, and prejudice.
Led by Steve Davis, director of diversity and community relations, this multicultural resource center serves, supports, and empowers faculty, staff, students, and other constituents to actualize their full potential. In particular, the center focuses on the professional development of all faculty, and the recruitment, hiring and retention of faculty and administration of color.
The center is housed on the Pomfret School campus, and all public, private and faith-based schools within a one-hour radius will be eligible for membership, including schools in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
At Pomfret, we believe diversity is who we are. Diversity refers to those differences in identity that impact our social experiences, including status and access to resources. Most obviously it is determined by race, gender, and culture. On a more subtle level it includes class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and appearance. We are guided by research which indicates academic excellence and a diverse learning environment are synergistically linked and that students in diverse classroom settings show growth in intellectual development, motivation, academic skills, standardized test scoring and grade point averages.
Pomfret is a founding member of SPHERE, a consortium of eleven Hartford area independent schools that came together in the early 1970s to broaden the diversity of their student bodies, administration, faculty, and staff. We are also a Charter Member and Legacy Award Recipient of A Better Chance, whose mission is to substantially increase the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.