Building Community

Gilman boys are well prepared for the lives they will live in global society. They become men who will embrace their own cultures and cherish the differences in others.

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

Cultural Arts Festival

The Cultural Arts Festival highlights the rich diversity within the Gilman community. This annual event, first held in 2004, promotes understanding, education, acceptance, respect, and friendship by showcasing art, history, music, customs, entertainment and food from various cultures throughout the world. Each year, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of the Gilman community representing more than two dozen cultures display items that represent their heritage, including books, music, clothes, art, cultural artifacts, pictures and video and, of course, cuisine. Performance art, whether music, dance or storytelling, occurs throughout the day.
Gilman School Cultural Arts Festival 2019 from Gilman Publications on Vimeo.

Mentoring Program

Gilman's mentoring program aims to shepherd lower and middle school boys through their Gilman journey, offering them support and fellowship along the way, by pairing boys together 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
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings
  • Potluck supper
  • Family Day activity
  • Spring cookout
Community and Diversity Meetings

The quarterly Community and Diversity Meetings bring together members of the extended Gilman community-faculty, staff, parents and alumni-to discuss diversity issues facing the School. 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.

Parent Affinity Reception

The Parent Affinity Reception gives parents the opportunity to make connections with each other. Another gathering 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 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.

Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall meetings, moderated by the director of community and diversity, 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 second meeting of the year, the Senior Parent Affinity Dinner, walks parents through the busy senior year, defining what will be expected of the boys, including the college admission process, SATs, exams and community service requirements, as well as explanations of all the 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 faciliators and/or deliver workshop sessions. The boys may cover topics such as tolerance, gay-straight alliances, anti-bullying, power and privilege, all reflecting the NAIS and our School Statement of Diversity and diversity in all its forms.

Upcoming Events

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Cultural Arts Festival

More than two dozen families display items that represent their cultural heritage at the annual Cultural Arts Festival.

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