One Heart Committee Update - 8.10

One Heart Committee Update - 8.10

Dear Sacred Heart Greenwich community,

Over the last several weeks the Board’s new committee, One Heart: Advancing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, and its supporting Advisory Group met regularly and framed its work and priorities. Our mission is clear: to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment at Sacred Heart where all have a sense of belonging and to develop inclusion, empathy and cultural awareness as essential leadership skills for our students. This is consistent with our faith and will create Sacred Heart young women who will live out the Goals and act as leaders in the world.

We promised you that the One Heart efforts will be intentional, outcomes-based and prioritized and that we would communicate regularly to keep the community informed and engaged. All of our efforts are closely coordinated with Head of School Meg Frazier and the Board of Trustees.

Progress to date:

- We have been meeting with other independent schools and other Sacred Heart Network schools to share resources and best practices.

- Mrs. Frazier and the faculty have taken initial steps to review the curriculum in the context of equity and social justice and student summer reading lists were enhanced to include more diversity in authors and perspectives.

- To ensure that we will welcome our students and faculty back into an environment that is more culturally aware and inclusive, we initiated several community programs that will take place over the next several weeks.

  • All faculty will be reading and discussing So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olou and James Baldwin’s 1963 Speech to Teachers as a basis for important community dialogue.

  • Later this month, we will initiate racial and cultural awareness training for all faculty and staff provided by Point Made Learning. This series of interactive workshops will further unite our community through learning and discussion. Members of the One Heart Board Committee will participate in this training as well.

  • As part of this year’s back-to-school orientation, Upper School girls will participate in a new workshop called, "Was It Something I Said?" In this workshop, they will learn how to constructively engage in hard conversations and what to do and say when they have offended someone or when someone has offended them.

While these are important first steps, we must proactively engage our entire community in an ongoing way to gain a comprehensive view of where we need to do better. These efforts will be branded as Voice of Community and will engage students, parents, alumnae, faculty/staff through a series of meaningful conversations that empower people to share their experiences. Your participation will be vital since these conversations will inform the Committee’s work and help determine priorities as we take deliberate action to foster a more diverse and inclusive community. In the near future, the co-heads of our One Heart Advisory Group Kerry Bader and John Zwack will be reaching out to you to further describe and launch these efforts.

We have significant work to do, and we are making steady progress forward. We understand that there are many things to focus on for the start of school, especially this year. On behalf of the entire One Heart Committee, thank you in advance for your engagement in this important work. We look forward to hearing your voices!

Carmen Hughes P’27, ’31, One Heart Committee Co-Chair

Sandie O’Connor P’19, ’23, One Heart Committee Co-Chair; Trustee

 

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