Statement on Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter. St. Joseph’s Prep proudly stands behind these words and supports all of our students and alumni of color in our fight for diversity and equality. As educators at a Jesuit institution, Black Lives Matter means that all members of the Prep community live up to the principles stated in the “Graduate at Graduation” document: I work to understand the structural roots of injustice in social institutions, attitudes, and customs; and gaining through experiences of and reflection on Christian service, an understanding of solidarity with marginalized members of society. Upon reflection, we acknowledge and apologize for our shortcomings in these areas and the negative impact it has had on our community. We ask God for grace to do the hard work to be better and our community to collaborate with us as we improve in these areas to ensure that all Prep students feel included and valued.
Recently, members of our community have called for the Prep to say these words on social media and took our silence on the issue on Twitter and Facebook as apathy towards their experiences. Knowing from the core of our faith that we are imperfect and loved sinners seeking reconciliation with God and our neighbor, we acknowledge and apologize for the way our silence has negatively impacted you and our entire community. We will work harder to ensure that we are more intentional in our communications moving forward.
We do believe that Black lives matter, and recent conversations on social media have been difficult to hear as we work through these very painful experiences. Thank you to all who have shared your stories; they will be used as a guide as we embark on a “Year of Solidarity,” aligning ourselves with the Society of Jesus’ pillar of “Walking with the Excluded.” Mr. Anthony Bush, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Ignatian Engagement Committee are working now with students, colleagues, alumni, and parents to develop programming that enables our Prep community to evolve, and we are committed to creating an inclusive, anti-racist, loving atmosphere in support of all students and their experiences. This is a call to action for all in our community and an opportunity for us all to grow in the areas of social justice and living out our Catholic/Jesuit principles.
As we look to the days to come, we will examine several areas of school operations: curriculum, hiring, professional development, student engagement, and whole-school programming, among others. More specific details will be shared with our community within the next two weeks. As always, we ask for God’s grace to walk together with and for others, taking critical looks at ourselves while also valuing the community that loves the Prep and wants to see it continually improve for current and future generations.