Quaker Practice: Equality



As a school, Mary McDowell Friends School asserts that all students can learn and that each has unique and valuable contributions to make. We strive to embrace one another’s differences, and together create a vibrant quilt including individuals of all socioeconomic backgrounds, diverse cultures and ethnicities, varying sexual orientations and gender identities, and many religious practices. We also strive to give voice to all of these groups in our curriculum, celebrations, and other expressions of community values.

Quakers believe that there is an “inner light,” an innate goodness and commonality, at the center of every person. Faith and Practice of New York Yearly Meeting also points out that “the history of Friends as a persecuted movement ought to make us sensitive to the feelings of those who suffer from prejudice.” Indeed, Quakers long supported Native Americans against unjust treatment, harbored Jews during the Holocaust, founded schools and colleges for freed slaves, marched for LGBTQ rights, and undertook many other civil rights actions before doing so was popular.

The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.

Chief Joseph

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

Jane Addams

One has to fight for justice for all. If I do not fight bigotry wherever it is, bigotry is thereby strengthened.

Bayard Rustin


  • Are the voices of disempowered and underrepresented minorities heard through our examination of history, literature, and other curricular areas?
  • Are non-traditional families as welcome and comfortable to participate in school events and programs as those who are in the majority?
  • When students struggle with aspects of our curriculum, do teachers, specialists, and administrators seek to uncover strengths rather than solely focusing on deficits?
  • At MMFS, we frequently say, “You get what you need, not what you want.” When is this evident? Are we consistent in addressing this idea?

Next: Service