Reflection from Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration
Diversity Is What You See, Inclusion Is What You Do
Just one day ago, we learned that a great man, our Campus Pastor, Father Thomas Hurley is stepping away from his role as Pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church. In his transparent and heartfelt comments before his congregants yesterday, Fr. Hurley courageously shared his personal decision which was the ultimate reminder of the mantra he has worked so hard for this faith community to live by all these years: ALL ARE WELCOME. All of us—troubled and triumphant, young and old, all races, gay and straight, conservative and liberal, rich and poor, and more, are welcome in this place.
It is a fact that hate speech, crimes, and the ongoing senseless killing of countless Asian Americans and Black Americans, in particular, have been on the rise since the inception of the pandemic one year ago in March 2020. It is also a fact that Xenophobic behavior exercised by the previous U.S. administration towards Mexican Americans and other immigrant groups has also taken its toll on our country’s marginalized racial/ethnic groups. In fact, the United States of America has not felt like a place where All Are Welcome for some time now and that clearly needs to change.
In an article entitled Inclusion is Invisible: How to Measure It, Forbes D&I magazine contributor and NYU professor Paolo Gaudiano writes, “Vernā Myers, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at online entertainment giant Netflix, is credited with coining the phrase ‘diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.’ In the context of one’s working (school) environment, inclusion is sometimes defined as ‘being able to bring your whole self to work (school)’.” In a school like FXW where we enjoy the fruit of our diverse environment, it is also a fact that we need to take a step back to ensure that our culture actually measures the degree to which our entire community experiences inclusivity and all feel welcome. How do we do this? We take a DEI survey. Why do we do this? To measure the extent to which students, families, and faculty/staff experience our School as a safe, caring, welcoming, and respectful place that is fair to all.
Thanks to the work of FXW’s Equity and Justice Forum’s DEI Training for Faculty and Staff Committee, and in conjunction with the Committee to Recruit and Retain a Diverse Workforce, the FXW Community will soon be asked to take on the task of completing a community-wide DEI survey as we work with DEI Consultant Karima Wilson of ForgedEd who is galvanizing this effort. Among many endeavors, this effort was covered in last month’s Equity and Justice Town Hall. This Sunday in In the Loop and next week in Grades 3 through 8 classrooms, a formal DEI survey will be available. We recognize that we are all surveyed out, but we humbly request 100% participation by all constituents in order to effectively assess how well we are doing in maintaining our Community of Belonging.
As was shared during the Town Hall, the DEI Tab on our School website is now available. There you can access resources and updates on the work of the Equity and Justice Forum. If you were unable to experience the Admissions Committee on Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body event: Leveraging Our Legacy, click here. The Asian American Leveraging Our Legacy edition will be hosted on April 29 at 7:00 p.m. Register here.
The FXW Community wishes our beloved Father Hurley all the best and God’s blessings as he pursues his next chapter. In his honor, we will do our best to further the mantra of Old St. Patrick’s Church and ensure that The Frances Xavier Warde School is a place where ALL ARE WELCOME for centuries to come.
—Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration