Equity and Inclusion Work
Equity and Inclusion Director – David Wu
In the spring of 2019, my digital production student Katie Thayer made a video that I think captures the heart of this work. Take a second to view it here!
The work of equity (fairness) and inclusion is driven by the first Catholic Social Teaching regarding the "life and dignity of the human person." Our bishop, superintendent, president and principal have all been extremely supportive of this work.
In August of 2017 the faculty received training from Teaching Tolerance’s publication Speak Up! Every staff member has been instructed to take time to interrupt any actions or words that might be biased or hurtful. After interrupting, they are to ask the student about the questionable words or actions. After listening, the adult is to educate as to why the words or actions are inappropriate. In 2018 students received the same training during a house topic day.
Here are some of the projects and events that have occurred over the past 2 years:
- Recruited 25+ faculty members to do Ancestry DNA testing. We had faculty discussions in early October.
- Hosted Gender Equity Kickball during flex to get the conversation started about fairness and gender biased attitudes and practices.
- Created a new Introduction to Christianity and American Culture (Intro to Theology) class for all new international students.
- Along with other Fayette County school, 50 student and 6 faculty members took a field trip to Frederick Douglass High School on September 22 to see a performance and participate in a panel on race relations sponsored by the KY Humanities Council.
- On January 24, 2018 under the leadership of Father Norman Fischer LCHS hosted a Youth Summit. We had students from 5 area high schools and had speakers who spoke on the issues of poverty, racism, sexism and homophobia.
- Spring 2018 along with Dr. Roger Cleveland we hosted a day long training for faculty.
- February 12, 2019 we hosted an all coach Implicit Bias and Hazing and Harassment Training led by Wayne "Box" Miller who works with the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Led school wide assemblies with a team of LCHS staff and students at Sts. Peter and Paul, Christ the King, and Seton Catholic School.
- Created the Equity and Inclusion Podcast. As of August 2019 there are 32 episodes. Click here to subscribe on ITunes or here to listen on your computer through SoundCloud.
- Worked along with the House System to implement the Formative Five (empathy, self-control, integrity, embracing diversity, fostering perseverance) into our curriculum.
- Attended the People of Color Conference 2017 (Ryanne Pults & David Wu) in Anaheim, CA.
- Attended the People of Color Conference 2018 (Sydney Consalvi, Lori Rink, Stephen Dorsett, & David Wu) in Nashville, TN.
- In May of 2017 established LGBT listening groups with the guidance and support of Bishop Stowe.
- In 2018-19, over a 5 month period a team from counseling, administrators, spiritual life and equity and inclusion met and drafted guidelines for affinity groups and support groups. In 2018 we had 3 affinity groups: LGBT, African American and Latinx and 1 support group: NOBLE (no one believes love ends) for students who have lost a parent.
- March 22, 2019 five faculty members attended a presentation by Robin DiAngelo on the topic of "White Fragility" at the University of KY.
- April 29, 2019 faculty meeting reports on affinity groups (students from the African American, Latinx and LGBT affinity groups shared about the experience), the People of Color Conference (with the focus on microaggressions and intent vs. impact) and DiAngelo's lecture on White Fragility.
- August 7, 2019 Faculty training on Equity and Inclusion
The bottom line is that we at Lexington Catholic believe that everyone is beautifully made in God’s image. How we treat each other should reflect that belief. Respect for everyone is an expectation for all of our community members. It is a fundamental starting point in building better people at Lexington Catholic.
Another reason we do this work is because embracing diversity is an essential 21st century skill. Fortune 500 companies are looking for graduates who possess this character trait.
If you ever would like to schedule a meeting or join in the work, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Christ’s Great Inclusive Love!