Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


A school community that honors difference, Penn Charter seeks to be a place where diversity is understood, represented and valued. Statement of Philosophy

A Multifaceted Understanding of Diversity

Penn Charter seeks to build a community representing diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation — as well as learning style, opinion and hometown.

When you walk through Penn Charter's red doors, there is a reason our formal-looking school suddenly feels down to earth: the people. Penn Charter was founded not for some people but for all people. That is as true today as it was in 1689. Penn Charter was one of the first schools to open to children of all religions and races, among the first to educate girls and to offer financial aid.

Despite that history, our community is not immune from the racism, sexism, homophobia and intolerance that challenge this city and nation. Our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work is ongoing, unfinished. 

The "Big 14"

The "Big 14" are core social identifiers that we can use to better understand and discuss the diverse identities that make up our community:

  • Ability
  • Age
  • Appearance
  • Body image
  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Gender expression
  • Gender identity
  • Home language
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Social class

Learn about Penn Charter's annual student-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion conference:

Cheryl Irving Student Diversity Conference

Professional Development for Faculty and Staff

Highlighting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at PC

March 7: Kevin Powell

Human and civil rights activist, author and entrepreneur Kevin Powell will deliver the keynote address at the second annual Cheryl Irving Student Diversity Conference on Saturday, March 7.

Mareena Snowden in a red shirt with the US Capitol Building behind her poses with hand on hip

Snowden, the first black woman to earn a PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT, will speak to Middle and Upper School students.

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Antonio Williams, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Lower School

Naveena Bembry, Lower School Diversity Coordinator, Fifth Grade Teacher
Jessica Stusnick-Czyzewski, Lower School Diversity Coordinator, First Grade Teacher

Middle School

Holly Silberman, Middle School Diversity Coordinator, Middle and Upper School English Teacher
Shelby Tucker, Middle School Diversity Coordinator, Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Upper School

Ruth McGee, Upper School Diversity Coordinator, Visual Arts and Design Teacher


Get Involved

"You have to join every other movement for the freedom of people."
Bayard Rustin

Below, consider these ways to engage.

The Treaty Elm

In front of the school stands a tree that is a direct descendent of the great elm tree under which William Penn is said to have signed a treaty of friendship with the Lenni Lenape.

Just like that tree, we are deeply rooted in time-honored human values of mutual respect, equality and community that are not open for compromise. This is who we are.

As one of our teachers has said, "That's what I like about coming to school every day. I know that there are some things here that will always be open for improving, but there are some things here that will never change."

Zip Code Map and Data

Each year, Penn Charter draws families from more than 100 zip codes in metropolitan Philadelphia. View the map and data.