UPDATE ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION (DEI) WORK IN OUR PROVINCE
Written by: Maureen Hagan
This is an editorial more than an article of news. It is an affirmation of the good work that is going on in our Province in regards to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). People have been committed, passionate, and humble about their own education and growth, as well as aware of the great responsibility to help all those in our school communities to grow, learn, and transform.
As many are aware, the Office of Evangelization held a Sharing Our Mission conference last October to continue the conversations that had begun the previous school year on issues of race, gender, and gender identity. Twenty-five people attended, with all of our schools represented. Alice Miesnik, Aliali Belkus, and I planned the program. J.R. Zerkowski of the Diocese of Kentucky and Dr. Alice Prince (of Pathways United), and LaToya Hayes of Marist Chicago were our guest speakers.
J.R. and Dr. Alice have since made themselves available to the administrators and DEI personnel in our schools and have become important assets and supports for us as we continue this work.
Throughout this school year, the group from Sharing Our Mission - DEI has met periodically to exchange ideas and share what has been successful in their schools. A book club was started, led by Alice Miesnik, to discuss So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo. There are usually 10+ people on the weekly Zoom meetings.
This past weekend, I, along with four other USA Marists, attended the Outreach 2022 Conference at Fordham Lincoln Center. The conference is geared for LGBTQ+ and the people who minister to them. Other Marists in attendance were Stacey Baker from Marist Eugene, Kim Madonia from Marist Chicago, Joe Logiudice from St. Joseph Academy, and Sarah Allen from Roselle Catholic (Rick Martin from Marist Eugene and Andy Chacon, from Christopher Columbus in Miami had hoped to attend, but plans didn’t work out).
In conclusion, we have a lot of which to be proud. Strong, dedicated, passionate people working on a very important issue – committed to making sure all groups feel less marginalized and that everyone feels safe and loved within our communities.