Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice
Our school motto for the 2021 - 2022 school year is
"Learning to Love and Loving to Learn with Hearts and Minds open to the Whole World"
As a Catholic institution Pope Francis calls on us to have hearts open to the whole world.
He invokes the Holy Spirit in part of a prayer delivered at the tomb of Saint Francis
"Come Holy Spirit show us your beauty, reflected in all the peoples of the earth, so that we may discover anew that all are important and all are necessary, different faces of the one humanity that God so loves"
Central to our School MIssion this year is further planning for addressing DEIJ ( Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) and the call of Pope Francis to 'what our common brotherhood requires of us', as we continue to commit to reaffirming the dignity of every human person created in the image and likeness of God.
Our learning as a school community will certainly be in itself an exercise in differentiation, as we are all at different stages of our understanding of DEIJ. We need to be open to being respectful in the dialogue and debate that will no doubt ensue.
We started our year with a series of workshops attended by faculty and staff and facilitated by Dr Eeqbal Hassim:
Friday, 13 August
A foundational workshop on cultural diversity and intercultural understanding, connecting with identity and belonging.
Friday, 21 September
Development of intercultural competence (individual and organisational) as a tool for DEI and social (and racial) justice
Friday, 12 November
Facilitating dialogue on DEI (to navigate different perspectives/lenses/language on issues of intersectionality, culture, race )
A Steering Committee chaired by Dr Hassim was established in September ( Inclusive of Senior Leadership Team representation, Board representation and the Head of School) to explore Inclusion and Equity in our school from the viewpoints of antiracism, cultural diversity, gender diversity ( including LGBTQIA+) and neuro diversity ( learning needs). Each of these "viewpoints positions" is balanced in representative numbers (2 people per viewpoint position) and was open to representatives of faculty and staff. As the initiative progresses eventually parents, students and more recent alumni will expand the committee somewhat.
Working groups ( Subcommittees) that lead and provide expertise in particular areas of concern within the school (e.g. antiracism, neurodiversity, gender diversity, cultural diversity etc) will feed their observations and recommendations to the more representative steering committee. Working groups lead the work in their area. With this approach, the steering committee will consider proposals for change/action, offer feedback and help make things happen in a synchronised, concerted way, such that one initiative is not at odds with another.
The Subcommittees have now also been established and are begining to meet to discuss the following areas:
Staff/leadership attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, and actions
Their attitudes, perceptions, or beliefs about interculturality and DEIJ; their behaviours as a reflection of what and how they think about intercultural and DEIJ issues; how these reflect the dominant culture/s or less dominant culture/s
Policies and politics
Policies in relation to, or involving, intercultural and DEIJ; how the organization handles the development and implementation of policies and politics around intercultural and DEIJ issues; how the policies and politics reflect the dominant culture/s or less dominant culture/s
Organisational Culture and Hidden Curriculum
The ethos and shared ways/expectations of thinking and behaving of the organisation; how it tackles intercultural and DEIJ issues; how it reflects the interpretation and handling of intercultural and DEIJ issues; how it reflects the dominant culture/s or less dominant culture/s
Teaching Styles and Strategies
The teaching styles and strategies typically used or privileged vis-à-vis learner diversity; how these reflect the dominant culture/s or less dominant culture/s and beliefs about education; how these handle learner diversity in its various forms (e.g., ethno-racial, cultural, linguistic, neuro, gender)
Languages and dialects of the Organisation
The languages and dialects of the organisation, irrespective of their use within the organisation; how these are used to promote intercultural and DEIJ efforts or otherwise; conceptions of and interactions with multilingualism, plurilingualism and translingualism within the organisation; the language/s privileged within the organisation and how this/these affect intercultural and DEIJ efforts; how language policies/programs reflect the dominant culture/s or less dominant culture/s
Watch out for further updates in the months ahead!
DEIJ Steering Committee
Chairperson - Dr Eeqbal Hassim
Board Representative - Sr Concesa Martin
Senior Leadership Team Representative - Alex Lee
Head of School - Colette Rogers