On Jan. 24, SI hosted an online Town Hall on Racism to which every current student, parent and employee was invited. We held this event in response to Black families' concerns and pain that SI had not responded effectively to recent incidents of racism. We are grateful for the many people who were vulnerable in sharing their stories and the impact incidents of racism at SI have had on them, especially the SI students.
Our intention was to provide a forum where we could listen intently to people who have been most impacted by racism, but also to spur action and change. As difficult as it sometimes is to have authentic dialogue and hear that our school's culture, policies and structures have failed students, we believe this was necessary, because, as Principal Michelle Nevin Levine said during the event, our Jesuit values hold that justice is non-negotiable. Therefore, it is our responsibility to acknowledge and address those racist incidents, and to take tangible steps toward reconciliation and healing.
To that end, SI has made some important policy changes that are now in effect. We revised our student handbook harassment policies, especially around sexual, racial and ethnic identity. Those changes were implemented last month, and students were given class time to discuss them. You can read the revised policies here.
We also created a new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Incident Reporting Form that can be found here. It was created to help students and their trusted adults on campus to report identity-based harm, track incidents of this nature in our community and facilitate restorative justice. The main goals of the reporting process are to uncover what happened, understand the impact of the harm, determine practices of accountability and the amends to be made now, and what action steps may be undertaken that would make those harmed feel whole. The form can be filled out when someone is either a target of or witness to an identity-based incident, and the information goes straight to administration.
We have also since heard from members of our community who were inspired by the Town Hall to reach out to us with their own anti-racist ideas. We welcome these ideas and encourage everyone in the SI community to talk with their families and each other about how our call to be men and women with and for others compels us to not just resist racism, but stamp it out.
If you have any questions or feedback, please contact SI's Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Maricel Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you have questions or seek additional information about SI's revised policies, please contact the Deans of Students at email@example.com.