Campus Life

Community and Belonging

Woodberry Forest’s commitment to Community and Belonging strives to center diversity and affirmations of difference in every part of school life. This work in Community and Belonging is deeply rooted in our school’s mission, as it seeks to shape our boys into young men who respect, embrace, and empathize with the differences of everyone in our community.


Community and Belonging

Woodberry’s Statement of Community and Belonging

Woodberry Forest School is dedicated to fostering a healthy environment where community members are not only welcome, but feel as though they belong.

  • As an increasingly diverse community, we uphold that everyone will engage in work that recognizes and celebrates our differences. We work to ensure that our actions reflect our values as a school. As such, we make to following commitments:
  • We commit to creating a school culture in which boys, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni feel respected and valued.
  • We commit to building a foundation of cultural competency within our community.
  • We commit to designing a curriculum that honors and reflects the diverse identities of our boys.
  • We commit to implementing this curriculum in ways that encourage curiosity for the world in which we live.
  • We commit to learning and growing in the work of Community and Belonging.
  • We commit to approaching this work with a growth mindset, recognizing that we will make mistakes, but also that we will learn from them.
  • We commit to seeking different perspectives and listening with open minds.
  • Lastly, we commit to knowing, challenging, and loving each boy as his authentic self.

Events

Black Legacy Day
In February 2022 Woodberry will host its first Black Legacy Day. The event will feature workshops led by faculty members and alumni, time for advisory group discussions, and an all-school assembly where alumni will share more about their Woodberry experience. We look forward to sharing more about Black Legacy Day, including photographs and reflections, after the event.


Community and Inclusion Affinity Groups

List of 4 items.

  • Asian Affinity Association

    The Asian Affinity Association exists to create a space for Asian and Asian American students to find support, build trust, and feel a sense of belonging. The group meets regularly (as an affinity group and as a group open to the community) to discuss ways to share Asian culture within the Woodberry community. The group also hosts movie nights, authentic meals, and other on- and off-campus activities.
  • Gay-Straight Alliance

    The Woodberry Gay-Straight Alliance or GSA is open to all students. It provides a community for students who question their sexual orientation or who identify as LGBTQ+ along with students who want to be be stronger LGBTQ+ allies. The group meets regularly for discussion, support, and socializing. Some recent GSA sponsored events include leading an all-school assembly, screening the film Milk, and offering students the opportunity to be part of a nationwide event the Day of Silence, which spotlights the silencing faced by the queer and transgender individuals and their allies every day.
  • International Forum

    International Forum invites Woodberry’s international students, along with others interested in learning more about global cultures, to meetings where they discuss current affairs, enjoy international cuisine, or hear from guest speakers. The group also takes off-campus trips to cultural events, ethnic restaurants, and movies.
  • Minority Caucus

    The Minority Caucus operates primarily as an affinity group and as a safe space for students of color, and specifically for Black students. Outside of its operation as an affinity group, many events hosted by the Caucus are open to the entire school community. The group meets often for discussion, game nights, off-campus trips, and other events.

The 1968 Multicultural Center

In the fall of 2021, the 1968 Multicultural Center (’68 Center for short) was opened for community use. The name of this space reflects a major moment in the history of Woodberry Forest School, as 1968 was the year in which the school’s board of trustees made the long overdue decision to integrate Woodberry. The featured exhibit in the center chronicles key moments in Woodberry’s path towards integration, as well as the legacy of strength and resilience that has been built by our pioneering African American alumni of the late 1960s and beyond. There are a total of five displays: “Challenging Tradition,” “Broadening Perspectives,” “In Search for Greatness,” “A Legacy of Strength,” and “Paving a Path for the Future.” Each display tells a different story, but they all seek to provide insights about the challenges, the triumphs, and the people that have helped shape Woodberry into the school that it is today.

By diving into articles from The Oracle, interviews from Black alumni, a letter from the class of 1970, and various images from the past five decades, any member of the Woodberry community can see that our institution's proximity to a racist history is closer than we might imagine. By acknowledging and owning this history, not only do we practice accountability, but we also affirm and validate the experiences of our first African American students and the generations of African American, Black, and racially minoritized students who have since followed in their footsteps. Furthermore, the 1968 Multicultural Center calls our entire community to action as summarized by the quote from former headmaster, A. Baker Duncan, on the wall which reads “to challenge ourselves, we must broaden our perspectives.” Regardless of your identity or background, learning about and honoring Woodberry’s story of integration is a concrete step that we can all take to broaden our perspectives.

In addition to housing the exhibit on Woodberry’s integration, the ‘68 Center operates as a dedicated space where boys can come together and build cultural competency. Complete with an AV setup and seating for 30 or more, the space is used in a variety of ways. First and foremost, our school’s affinity groups are always encouraged to host their meetings in the ‘68 Center. We value the senses of belonging that affinity groups offer our boys, so we prioritize the standing guarantee of this physical space for them. Second, members of the faculty often host movie nights for boys in the ‘68 Center, screening films that hold the potential to build cultural competency. Featured films have included Do the Right Thing, Milk, and Get Out. Lastly, the space operates as a unique place to host fishbowl discussions, which invite all members of the community to share their perspectives on culturally relevant questions about Woodberry Forest or the wider world. 


Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.