Ursuline Academy of Dallas and the Ursuline Subcommittee on Community & Inclusion have been active these last several months. Here’s a snapshot of recent activities and accomplishments:
- The Community & Inclusion page on the Ursuline website was expanded to include a wide range of educational resources for the UA community on systemic racism and its impacts, along with ways to take action against it.
- The Board of Trustees Chair, C&I Committee Chair and Ursuline’s President and Principal met representatives of an alumnae group to reiterate Ursuline’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Academy’s work several years ago to begin the C&I journey, the school’s support for the black community, and our obligation to act against racism. At the group’s request, a formal statement was issued to the entire Ursuline community and is posted on this website.
- Dr. Andrea Shurley hosted a Student Conversation with students from the African American Association and the Student C&I Council. Representatives from the C&I Subcommittee were invited to the session to hear student reactions to the social unrest permeating the country and what we can do at Ursuline to support them. The students offered many perspectives and opportunities for improvement, which are now reflected in the work underway to build a C&I Strategic Roadmap.
- Cecilia Nipp and Dr. Patty LaValle – newly appointed co-coordinators for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) – hosted conversations on C&I during the August 2020 Faculty In-Service session. The robust discussion focused on “C&I at Ursuline – Past, Present and Future.” The co-coordinators also distributed a survey to faculty members at the end of the session to collect insights on topics for education and conversation in the coming school year. The co-coordinators have also established a new twice-monthly DEI e-letter for Ursuline faculty and staff, offering educational resources for employees and inspiration for actions that individuals can take to support DEI goals.
- The Community & Inclusion statement was added to the 2020-21 Student Handbook and the Faculty Procedures manual.
- A C&I unit has been added to the Freshman Life Skills course. This module is designed to equip students to engage in meaningful conversations, aligned with Ursuline norms, on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- ISAS: eSeminar Series on Racial Literacy and Anti-Racism. On September 30, twenty-five (25) Ursuline faculty and staff members participated in the first of four sessions in an ISAS webinar series on racial literacy and anti-racism. Engaging ISAS educators in conversations about race and racism, anti-racism and anti-bias, and race identity, the sessions aim to provide tools, build skills, and increase knowledge that faculty, staff, and administrators can utilize and implement in classrooms and on campuses.
- DADYO - Ursuline Academy will host the first virtual meeting of DADYO (Dallas Area Diversity Youth Organization) on October 6.
- The Ursuline Athletic Department, under the leadership of Athletic Director Susan Noonan, is partnering with the University of North Texas Sport Psych Center in its Race Matters program. Ursuline coaches are attending workshops held every second Wednesday evening to increase understanding of systemic racism and develop tools to promote social justice.
Much is being accomplished at Ursuline to bring our Community & Inclusion Statement to life. There is, of course, more work to be done, so keep checking this website for updates.