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Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council
Co-Chairs

Donna May
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator
dmay@ursuline.org
302.658.7158

Lisa Chew Clody ’83
Director of Enrollment
lclody@ursuline.org
302.658.7158, ext. 6256

Ursuline Academy’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Ursuline Academy Wilmington joins its global network in safeguarding the traditions of the Ursuline Sisters around the world by developing leaders in an educational environment which embraces an understanding and deep respect for diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. This commitment flows directly from the teachings of St. Angela, who believed in ‘building community wherever you go’, and respecting the uniqueness of each individual. We uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, appreciating each person as sacred, made in God’s image, equal in dignity.”

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council & Steering Committee:

The DEI Council, in collaboration with Ursuline students, includes alumnae, Board of Trustees Members, faculty/staff, and parents.

Robert Adams, P ’24

Karina Chara, P ’34

Co-Chair: Lisa Chew Clody ’83, Director of Enrollment Management & Alumna

Dr. Eunice Gwanmesia, P ’23

Yvette Kinsale, Board of Trustees & P ’22

Sister Marion Lynch, OSU, Board of Trustees

Co-Chair: Donna May, DEI Coordinator 

Dr. Alison McDonough ’08, Board of Trustees & Alumna

Brendan McGivney, Teacher

Dr. Shabnam McQuerrey ’08, Alumna

Dr. Trisha Medeiros, President & P ’22

Erin Prada, Teacher & Global Education Coordinator

Shapan Singh, Director of Technology

Raquel Tateum ’06, Alumna

Dr. Sarah Williams ’05, Alumna

Recent Milestones:

  • In March 2021, Ursuline Academy’s DEI Action Plan was created. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council developed the Action Plan based upon feedback from surveys and focus groups, and in partnership with Upper School students, faculty, staff, families, alumnae, and the Board of Trustees. The Action Plan provides a framework as we expand our efforts in providing an inclusive, safe space where everyone feels a strong sense of belonging and is empowered for leadership and service in our global society.
  • In early 2020, we welcomed our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) coordinator, Donna May. In her role, she oversees the newly expanded DEI Council, which is comprised of students, faculty, Board of Trustees members, parents, and alumnae, and ensures efforts to promote and maintain diversity within the Ursuline family and the HR selection committee. These efforts expand upon those of the DEI task force formed in 2018.
  • Professional development and training for faculty and staff, including a presentation on cultural competence by DeVon Jackson, M.S. Faculty members attended the 2019 MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference & the National Association of Independent Schools 2019 People of Color Conference.
  • Student and faculty climate survey.
  • Reviewing inclusivity throughout the Academy
  • In 2020, partnered with NemMet Minority Recruitment and HBCU Career Center to standardize panel-style interviews with uniform questions to reduce unconscious bias among candidates.
  • The DEI Council is tasked with developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan by the end of 2020. This plan will serve as a roadmap, detailing specific, measurable, and time-bound goals for addressing bias, prejudice, discrimination, and racism. We look forward to sharing the Action Plan with the Ursuline Community.
  • Partnership with LYTE Scholars since 2015 to make an Ursuline education possible for all. LYTE Scholars mission is: to lead low-income, African American, and Latino middle school students to top-performing Delaware high school programs and then colleges, through personal mentoring, rigorous teaching, and leadership.
  • Partnership with Serviam Girls Academy since 2008, making an Ursuline education possible for their 8th grade graduates. Serviam Girls Academy is a tuition-free private middle school in Wilmington with a mission to cultivate young women’s potential through a challenging, holistic education rooted in Ursuline tradition.

DEI Communications:

March 30, 2021 DEI Action Plan

Dear Ursuline Community,
This past year has brought to light many issues facing society, including racial injustice and inequality. Ursuline Academy pledges to strengthen our focus on providing a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible environment. With our global network, we are proudly building upon a legacy to safeguard the traditions of the Ursuline Sisters worldwide. We are developing leaders in an educational environment which embraces an understanding and deep respect for these values.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council developed an Action Plan based upon feedback from surveys and focus groups, and in partnership with Upper School students, faculty, staff, families, alumnae, and the Board of Trustees. Our work upholds the teachings of the Catholic Church, appreciating each person as sacred and made in God’s image, equal in dignity. The Action Plan provides a framework as we expand our efforts in providing an inclusive, safe space where everyone feels a strong sense of belonging and is empowered for leadership and service in our global society.

 

The DEI Action Plan reflects the following key goals:
Strengthening access, equity, and opportunity for all community members.

 

Action Item examples include:
  • Expand hiring practices to increase the recruitment of black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) faculty, staff, and administration
  • Examine access to all aspects of the Ursuline experience
  • Strengthen admissions procedures for the recruitment of BIPOC students and families, and various socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Review the educational experience to ensure all students have the opportunity to achieve their strongest possible academic profile

 

Support faculty and staff in the delivery of a learning experience that fosters understanding and value of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles. 

 

Action Item examples include:
  • Increase availability of professional development for faculty, staff, and administration
  • Ensure a diverse curriculum through which students gain a global perspective
  • Provide resources to support safe spaces for DEI teachable moments

 

Ensure that student life and community activities are inclusive and celebrate the diversity in our community. 

 

Action Item examples include:
  • Provide ongoing sharing and listening opportunities for Ursuline community members
  • Establish a confidential process for the reporting and management of DEI-related concerns
  • Dedicate space on Ursuline’s website for DEI resources and information
  • Maintain a calendar that is intentional about creating moments to recognize and celebrate culturally relevant observances
A special thank you to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and the students, families, faculty, staff, and alumnae who reached out to share your unique stories and ideas, and who participated in the survey. Your perspectives offer invaluable insight into the Ursuline experience which helps us grow and work to ensure an inclusive community.

In the coming months, we will identify and welcome a new full-time staff member who will be responsible for leading the advancement of this plan. Additionally, we will invite all members of the Ursuline community to actively participate in this journey. We encourage you to visit our website and keep an eye on our newsletters and social media to see our plans in action and to learn about opportunities to get involved.

Together, we carry on St. Angela Merici’s legacy, ‘building community wherever we go.’


Insieme,

Dr. Trisha Medeiros, President

Donna May & Lisa Chew Clody ’83

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council, co-chairs

DEI Council

 

December 20, 2020 Update

The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council has been meeting regularly to develop a DEI Action Plan, which includes the Commitment Statement listed below, to serve as a roadmap in support of this foundational commitment to St. Angela’s vision of “building community.”

Ursuline Academy’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Ursuline Academy Wilmington joins its global network in safeguarding the traditions of the Ursuline Sisters around the world by developing leaders in an educational environment which embraces an understanding and deep respect for diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. This commitment flows directly from the teachings of St. Angela, who believed in ‘building community wherever you go’ and respecting the uniqueness of each individual. We uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, appreciating each person as sacred, made in God’s image, equal in dignity.”

While still in the development phase, examples of Action Plan goals include professional development for staff, cultural enhancements to the curriculum, and greater diversity within Ursuline’s staff. We recognize that this work is always evolving, a work in progress, sometimes difficult, and at the same time deeply rewarding. We look forward to sharing more with you in the New Year.

June 29, 2020 Update

Dear Ursuline Community,

Earlier this month, Ursuline Academy affirmed our commitment to standing with the Black community in the fight against racism in America and doing our part within our school and our community. Through our newly expanded Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council, we will continue working to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, and one that prepares the Ursuline community to go out into the world and be change makers.

Ursuline Academy’s President, Dr. Trisha Medeiros, has appointed Donna May, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator, and Lisa Chew Clody ’83, Director of Enrollment co-chairs of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council. The council, which will be comprised of students, faculty, Board of Trustees members, parents, and alumnae, is tasked with developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan by the end of 2020. This plan will serve as a roadmap, detailing specific, measurable, and time-bound goals for addressing bias, prejudice, discrimination, and racism. Dr. Medeiros will work closely with the council to implement the action plan.

We are seeking to assemble a working group of members of the Ursuline Academy community with related previous work or personal experiences and/or a passion in this area. We encourage all members of the Ursuline community who have an interest in volunteering support to the council to email Donna May, dmay@ursuline.org by July 10, 2020.

The important work of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council will begin with a series of listening exercises, which will help us determine where to focus our efforts. Community members will be surveyed to assess the current pulse on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Ursuline Academy community. The council will research methods to measure growth annually to ensure sustainability. An update will be provided soon with further details, including other ways the Ursuline community will be engaged in the process.

We know that together, we can and will be part of the solution.

Donna May & Lisa Chew Clody ’83
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council, co-chairs

June 4, 2020 Update

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ―  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Statement of Commitment for Justice

Ursuline Academy will not stand by silently. The senseless murder of George Floyd was a continuation of a pervasive problem we must be part of correcting. We stand with the Black American community and give unwavering support against their disparate treatment. Our students, alumnae, staff, and others are outraged by the violence and racism that persists in our country and our world. We pledge to be a change agent. Acknowledging that there is an issue is the first step, and now there must be action. These injustices must come to an end. We must ALL do more. Through the work of a newly expanded Diversity and Inclusion Council, Ursuline Academy will further our support in the fight against bias, prejudice, discrimination, and racism.

Ursuline Academy can and will be an active part of the solution.

We affirm our commitment to educate our students, faculty, and administrators to be changemakers and global leaders on the virtues of peace and inclusion. We know there can be no peace without working for justice. We wrap our hearts around the Black community and pledge our solidarity and support.

We are stronger together – insieme.

Dr. Trisha Medeiros
President