Current and alumnae members of Villa Maria’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEI) met with principal Sr. Regina Ryan and several other staff members on July 17 to continue the committee’s and the school’s mission to build and support an inclusive community of care at Villa Maria. The administration of Villa Maria thanks the DEI students for leading a meaningful and courageous conversation on racial justice and other areas of social justice. We are inspired by your commitment, your honesty, and your eloquence.
As Villa Maria’s DEI plan evolves, we are focusing on the following initiatives:
- Review our curriculum and co-curricular activities from the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusivity;
- Provide continued cultural competency training for all faculty, staff, and administration;
- Commit to increasing diversity among students, administration, faculty/staff, and the Board of Trustees;
- Offer a welcoming atmosphere of equity and inclusion based on the mission of Villa Maria and the charism of the IHM Sisters.
In addition to the student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Villa Maria has reorganized the faculty/staff DEI Committee to support the students in their work for racial and social justice, co-chaired by the director of DEI and the dean of students.
Reflecting on our recent dialogue, we are reminded of a quote by the late U.S. Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis: “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.”
Together with our students and alumnae, including the past and present DEI student leaders, we are hopeful as we continue to build a more equitable and inclusive community at Villa Maria.