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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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Fenwick continually promotes inclusion for all our students.  Please click the link and contact any moderator if you are seeking to join a club. Inclusion is Fenwick!  
 

STATEMENT

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are pillars of our society. To celebrate this and cultivate harmony and respect for all students, educators must nurture diversity, equity and inclusion as a foundation for the high school experience. As an institution, we must cultivate these principals across the entire Fenwick community. Students enter their Fenwick experience carrying an assortment of beliefs. This may include racial and cultural prejudices, lack of understanding of other cultures, way of life or ability to relate to the experiences that others live. The Fenwick Community can help combat prejudice and racial discord by supporting the positive initiatives that promote understanding, diversity, equity and inclusion among students, their families, and ultimately instilling respect for all peoples. Fenwick will be bold in our actions.
Fenwick will lead in this initiative. 

IN THE NEWS

MEETING UPDATES

August 6, 2020: Second Meeting Update

The recently formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee met for the second time on Thursday, August 6.  The Chair of the committee, Shafondra Matthews '01, and Vice Chair, Roberto Sepulveda '93, were installed in their new roles and six sub-committees were populated with members of the DEI committee:

● Cultural Inclusion and Sensitivity Training
● Policy and Governing Practices
● Curriculum
● Student, Faculty, Staff Recruitment
● Admissions and Financial Aid
● Community Service
  
It is expected that the substantive work of the committee will be done in the sub-committees, which will bring recommendations to the larger committee for further action.

Additionally, since the first meeting in late June, cultural inclusion and sensitivity (CIS) training has been scheduled for the board of directors at its annual retreat and school-wide CIS training is being researched for implementation this school year, a new scholarship fund has been established for students coming to Fenwick from two schools primarily serving the Austin community, and curriculum changes have been announced for the 2021-22 school year. 
   
Fenwick is grateful for all of our community members who have stepped forward to serve in this very important capacity and looks forward to their input in the years to come.
 

June 15, 2020: Board Meeting Update

Dear Fenwick Community,

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and widespread protests around the country, Fenwick High School has also been asked to examine itself.

The outpouring of anger, pain and frustration from so many of Fenwick’s alumni and students of color over the past few weeks has been deafening.  We have heard and are deeply saddened.

It is clear that we have failed our students of color, and all of our students, in many ways.  If we are to educate our students - as our vision statement reads - “to serve as compassionate leaders, committed to justice and peace in a changing global society,” we must change.  As an educational institution Fenwick must play its part in implementing and upholding anti-racist policies, practices and curriculum to educate the leaders of tomorrow.  We are committed to doing so.

It is easy to state that Fenwick stands firmly against institutional racism embedded in all aspects of society and it will not be tolerated at Fenwick.  It is harder to live the tenets of the Gospel and the life of Jesus Christ to personify the moral truth that Black Lives Matter, that Brown Lives Matter.  That is what we must do.

At its June 15 board meeting, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee of the board, a permanent committee, was appointed and board chair John Barron ’76 will serve on it.  A formal charter is being established, but the committee will be charged with addressing racial/cultural and justice/equity issues in these areas:

● Cultural Inclusion and Sensitivity Training
● Policy and Governing Practices
● Curriculum
● Student, Faculty, Staff Recruitment
● Admissions and Financial Aid
● Community Service

The committee’s first meeting is Tuesday, June 30.   An alumnus from the class of ‘03, who has spent the bulk of his professional career working with issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in education, has agreed to moderate the initial meeting until a chair is formally named.  The committee is made up of current and past board members, faculty and staff, alumni and current students.  The committee is expected to reach beyond the traditional Fenwick community for expertise, counsel and advice when seeking information and making recommendations.

This committee’s work will take some time, but Fenwick commits to the following now:

● A school-wide cultural sensitivity and inclusion training program for all students, faculty, staff, administration and the board will be implemented in the ‘20-21 school year. Note: Cultural inclusion and sensitivity training already has been scheduled for Board members, and Mr. Moland is researching options for school-wide training.
● Multi-disciplinary curriculum changes to include greater diversity of perspective and multi-cultural pedagogy.
● Fenwick will re-double its efforts to raise scholarship funds for underserved students. Note: Fenwick recently formalized another scholarship fund for students matriculating from two elementary schools that largely serve students from the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s west side.

We welcome and appreciate your feedback.  Please continue to share your experiences at inclusion@fenwickfriars.com.  All of your stories will be shared with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

As a Dominican high school, Fenwick is committed to live up to the ideals of the earliest Dominicans who came to the Americas in the 16th century.  As we were reminded at the recent board meeting in an essay by Elisa Flores ’20 about the Order of the Preachers in the New World:

“Antonio Montesinos and Francisco de Vitoria were both influential figures who greatly contributed to the idea of Dominicans fighting for and preaching about human rights in the New World.  Montesinos’ sermon and de Vitoria’s contributions both argue against slavery on the basis of human dignity and Dominican values.  Together, they were able to shape the minds of their contemporaries by emphasizing and appreciating the importance of basic human rights.”

Fenwick High School will live up to this legacy in the 21st century.

Sincerely,

Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P.                                         
President

John Barron ‘76                                                                     
Board Chair


* Please note that this page is a work in progress. Please check back often.
 

Raymond Moland

Raymond Moland

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

ext. 309

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Shafondra Matthews

Shafondra Matthews '01

Committee Chair: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Roberto Sepulveda

Roberto Sepulveda '93

Vice-Chair: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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