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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Officers of Villa Maria's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Villa Maria Academy Diversity Statement

Villa Maria Academy is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that respects and promotes the integration of underrepresented groups into its community.

Villa Maria recognizes the many dimensions of diversity and the broad, complex, and dynamic nature of human difference and similarity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential in an educational environment, including preparing students for citizenship in a global society, the sharing of cultural knowledge and wisdom, and promoting collective well-being. A policy of diversity, equity, and inclusion will facilitate Villa Maria Academy’s mission as a Catholic and IHM Congregational school.

DEI Committees

Villa Maria formed its DEI Committee in the 2014 – 2015 school year with both students and faculty/staff. Today there are two Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committees at Villa Maria — one that is student-led and one that is faculty/staff led.

Student DEI Committee

The Student DEI Committee is a student-led organization which strives to increase awareness of  issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to promote positive change both within and beyond the Villa Maria community. The Student DEI Committee organizes and facilitates DEI presentations and programs for the Villa Maria community throughout the school year. All students are welcome to participate.

Student DEI Leadership Team

The Student DEI Leadership Team consists of a small group of dedicated students who lead and facilitate DEI events, presentations and programs for the Villa Maria community.

Faculty/Staff DEI Committee

The faculty/staff DEI Committee meets monthly to discuss and make recommendations for DEI policies and programs which will enhance student learning and the student experience as well as the experience of the entire Villa Maria community.

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Contact Kara Bielli, kbielli@vmahs.org.

“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. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

U.S. Representative John Lewis

Ignatian Solidarity Network and the IFTJ Conference

IFTJ trip to DC 2021

Villa Maria is a member of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, and each year Villa students, faculty, and staff attend the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C., the largest Catholic social justice gathering in the United States. As part of that gathering, our students and faculty/staff participate in Advocacy Day where they meet with members of Congress and/or their staff to discuss pending legislation and issues of social justice.

Diversity Prayer

We praise You, God for the diversity that is all around us.  We rejoice in the complex beauty of your creation.  Help us to celebrate the wonderful blend of cultures and peoples in this world by actively seeking solidarity with one another.  Amen.
Between the World and Me book cover

Faculty/Staff DEI Book Club Reading 2022-23

Many faculty and staff members are reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

This New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner  takes the form of  a letter from the author to his teenage son, and addresses questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.