Building Community

Gilman boys become men who embrace their own cultures and APPRECIATE the differences in others.

The focus of our diversity programs is to strengthen the community from within by offering workshops and programs, helping students and faculty to build relationships, and cultivating the notion that people can learn together, regardless of differences.

Cultural Arts Festival

Highlighting the rich diversity within the Gilman community, this annual event promotes understanding, education, acceptance, respect, and friendship by showcasing art, history, music, customs, entertainment, and food from cultures throughout the world. Parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the Gilman community representing more than two dozen cultures display items that represent their heritage, including books, clothing, games, and cuisine. Music, dance, storytelling, and demonstrations occur throughout the day.
Gilman School Cultural Arts Festival 2019 from Gilman Publications on Vimeo.

Mentoring Program

Aiming to shepherd Lower and Middle School boys through their Gilman journey, the mentoring program offers support and fellowship along the way by pairing boys in mentor-mentee teams. Throughout the school year, the boys meet with faculty advisors and their parents on several occasions including:

  • Various breakfast gatherings
  • Outreach project to the community
  • Holiday gatherings
  • Potluck supper and spring cookout
  • Family Day activity
C.I.E. Nights

Community, Inclusion, and Equity nights bring together members of the extended Gilman community to discuss diversity topics. The evening often includes a presentation or keynote speaker.


Parent affinity groups support the notion of an inclusive community by providing the space for diverse groups to self-identify, unite openly, and engage intelligently. Learn more about our parent affinity groups. An affinity reception gives parents the opportunity to make connections with each other. Another gathering gives parents the opportunity to network with Black Gilman alumni.

Celebration of African-American Graduates

The Black Alumni Group works to ensure that young Black alumni build strong ties to Gilman. They heartily welcome the newest members into their ranks, and that of the Gilman Alumni Association, at a pre-Founders Day reception for graduating seniors and their families.

Student Diversity Council

The Student Diversity Council brings together leaders from the clubs that represent the different ethnicities in our community, including the Black, Jewish, Muslim, and Asian Student Associations, as well as the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.

Town Hall Meetings

These meetings, moderated by the director of C.I.E., provide a safe environment for parents of color to frankly discuss their experiences. The first meeting, entitled Navigating the Waters of Gilman, gives parents an orientation to Gilman and the independent school community. The Senior Parent Affinity Dinner walks parents of seniors through the busy year, defining what will be expected of the boys, including the college admission process, SATs, exams, community service requirements, and explanations of the end-of-year events leading up to graduation.

Gilman Black Alumni Leadership Institute (GBALI)

Founded in 2005 by Charles (Chaz) Howard '96 and Kumasi Vines '96, the Gilman Black Alumni Leadership Institute brings together promising high school students from Gilman, The Bryn Mawr School, Roland Park Country School and Parkville and Western High Schools with adult mentors, who offer information about their careers, higher education choices and other life decisions. Karlo Young '97 and Terrance Whitehead '95 co-direct the Institute.

Student Diversity Leadership Council

Each year, several Gilman students participate in the local Student Diversity Leadership Conference. We train our boys to serve as facilitators and/or deliver workshop sessions. Topics include tolerance, gay-straight alliances, anti-bullying, and power and privilege, all reflecting the NAIS and our School Statement of Diversity and diversity in all its forms.