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St. Joseph’s Academy’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) invites our community to recognize and acknowledge that all people are created in the image of God with each person bringing unique gifts to the community. As a community, we engender empathy, understanding and curiosity to develop a deeper awareness of equity and inclusion as it relates to gender, race, faith, socioeconomic circumstances and sexual identity, as well as individual talents and learning styles in a college preparatory environment. Please click here to view St. Joseph’s Academy’s “A Commitment to Diversity.”

List of 5 items.

  • A Commitment to Diversity

    At St. Joseph’s Academy, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet’s (CSJ) charism of unifying love and living in right relationship are the bedrock for diversity, equity and inclusion.
     
    As a CSJ institution, we are called to move always “toward love of God and love of neighbor without distinction.” Throughout our history, the CSJs have “served the Dear Neighbor,” who may be of another culture, ethnicity, race, age, socioeconomic circumstance, faith, gender or sexual identity. The spirit and action of inclusivity continues to be expressed today, as we live out our school motto, “Not I, But We.” Christ calls us to love others as he would love us as well as to be merciful as God is merciful; therefore, we are called as an SJA community to do the same.
     
    St. Joseph’s Academy’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion invites our community to recognize and acknowledge all people being created with dignity and in the image of God; a recognition that each person brings many gifts to the community; and with a humility that engenders empathy, understanding and curiosity to develop a deeper awareness of a fuller sense of equity and inclusion as it relates to gender, race, faith, socioeconomic circumstances, sexual identity, as well as individual talents and learning styles in a college preparatory environment.
     
    We recognize that the attainment of an environment that is fully diverse, equitable and inclusive is a journey, not a moment of achievement. As we “move towards the more” within the hallmarks of our welcoming and affirming community, together we will:
    • Foster open, respectful conversations about our unique differences.
    • Commit to providing a safe environment for authentic dialogue by using the SJA Cultural Norms.
    • Practice “respect for self and others” by appreciating interests, opinions and perspectives outside of our individual world views.
    • Work to deepen our cultural understanding of one another by knowing and walking with others who are not like ourselves, ultimately recognizing a deep connectedness in our human family.
    • Perpetuate an informed network of young women equipped to “make a profound impact” in a multicultural world and global society.
    Emanating from the CSJ charism to accomplish our goals of inclusivity, we invite each member of our school community to:
    • Understand and develop a personal authenticity that fosters unification through contemplation and loving collaboration.
    • Listen attentively so we can speak, work, teach and learn freely with each other.
    • Critically analyze the power structures that elevate and suppress particular differences.
    • Grow in our relationship with God and others, so that we become more aware of our own human limitations by challenging biases and historical limitations.
    • Stand with the voiceless.
    • Fully embrace our community spirit of “Not I, But We,” recognizing that we can accomplish more together than we can apart.
    "May they all be one as you Father are in me and I am in you. May they be one in us; so that the world may believe that you have sent me." [John 17:21]
  • Strategic Approach

    In 2016-2017, St. Joseph’s Academy hired a diversity consultant to perform a cultural audit. As a result, we have several main areas of our school community that are actively working to advance our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI):
    • Increase diversity within our student body
    • Enhance the curriculum to reflect culturally competent content and teaching
    • Engage the SJA community in DEI awareness and training
    • Teach Catholic social justice in our curriculum
    • Provide a safe space for all to communicate ideas and collaborate on various projects
    • Recognize biases and acknowledge differences by leaning into discomfort
    • Value multiple perspectives by addressing issues that pertain to race, class, gender, identity and religion
  • DEI Committee

    The purpose of the Board of Directors’ DEI Committee is to focus the school’s efforts and energies of providing a culture of diversity. The committee meets regularly and consists of administrators, alumnae, faculty members and current parents.
  • Tactical Approaches

    Each year, as we engage in this work, we enhance the depth and the breadth of our journey.
     
    Faculty Initiatives
    SJA’s faculty and staff are committed to carrying out the work of the community’s DEI efforts:
    • Professional development consists of discussions, conferences, workshops and “Lunch and Learn” events.
    • DEI Committee of the faculty and staff
    • A faculty-led book club to discuss a variety of topics within Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Past books have included: 
      • Between the World & Me by Ta-Nehisi Coats
      • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
      • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
    • Professional DEI training about a variety of topics, including bias and unconscious-bias, dialogue about race and building an inclusive climate.
    • Expand knowledge about culturally competent teaching.
    • Develop a curriculum that reflects an accurate, authentic and inclusive education.
    Student Initiatives
    • SJA’s Diversity Club was established in 2011 and engages and organizes various student and community events. The club’s purpose is to uphold DEI at St. Joseph’s Academy.
    • Leadership opportunities with local and national organizations.
    • Heritage month celebrations with entire student body participation.
    • Freshman Experience: A program to help our freshmen to make the most of their high school experience in diversity, equity and inclusion.
    Parent Involvement
    Parents are encouraged to be active in the St. Joe community by volunteering at and attending various events. We have opportunities for parents to speak to classes and help with club events. For more information, please contact Mrs. Veronica Washington.
  • Cultural Norms

    In 2017, in effort to foster an environment that reflects the charism of the CSJs and to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we have established the following Cultural Norms which encourage genuine and respectful communication, grounded in our motto, “Not I, But We.” These norms are shared in every classroom to help to grow as a community and become more courageous within our conversations.
    Assume Positive Intent
    • Choose to see the good and value in the other person’s thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc.
    • Approach situations with the spirit that people want what is best
    • Be vulnerable instead of being defensive or judgmental
    • Remain open to information, seeking for the truth and to understand someone else’s thoughts, ideas and feelings
    Speak From the "I" Perspective
    • Speak in the first person, taking ownership of your own viewpoint, experience, feelings, thoughts, etc.
    • Use “I” statements when sharing in a group because we only truly know how we feel and think
    Be Crisp; Say What Is Core
    • Get to the point with tact, understanding, diplomacy and thoughtfulness
    • Say what you mean, mean what you say
    • Say what is needed and do not beat around the bush, ramble or shift ideas
    Value Multiple Perspectives
    • Take in, listen to, value and respect others’ thoughts, insights, feelings, experiences, etc.
    • Recognize what is in another’s perspective that can inform your own
    • Engage in the opportunity to walk in another person’s shoes
    • Be open minded
    • Be willing to take a risk and change
    • When necessary, agree to disagree
    Be Fully Present, Listen, Then Respond
    • Give all your attention to the person in front of you, focusing on the moment and the conversation
    • Make eye contact and listen intentionally and actively
    • Pay attention, process and reflect on what the other person is saying, and wait to form your response and to speak
    • Ask for clarity and/or repeat ideas back for clarification
    • Allow silence to provide space for all to fully form thoughts and opinions before talking
    • Be with your thoughts/process information before speaking and responding
    Lean Into Discomfort
    • Embrace vulnerability and go outside your comfort zone
    • Engage with purpose in experiences/conversations that make you uncomfortable
    • Be comfortable with the process of forming a new idea/opinion; understand that you might offend, but assume positive intent
    • Revel in the unknown and the confusion that can lead to new/different experiences, conversations, outlooks, etc.
    • Recognize discomfort as an opportunity to grow and accept new opinions/viewpoints
    • Take risks and be willing to make mistakes
    • Be willing: to experiment without fear of failure, to start something without knowing the outcome, and to try something new so as to become better
    • Participate in being a lifelong learner, having a growth mindset
    Accept Conflict as a Catalyst for Change
    • Be open to opposing/different perspectives
    • Take the opposing idea, position, interest, desire, etc. or disagreement and turn it into a new way forward
    • Allow the disagreement to provide the possibility/opportunity for growth even if not initially agreed upon
    Honor Confidentiality
    • Be entrusted with private information
    • Hold another person’s information as sacred allowing only that person to tell her own story

Contact Us

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Veronica Washington

    Veronica Washington 

    Business - Department Chair, Diversity Coordinator
    (314) 394-4131
  • Photo of Deanna Williams

    Ms. Deanna Williams 

    Diversity Outreach Coordinator
    (314) 394-4328
St. Joseph's Academy is called forth by our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, to "serve the Dear Neighbor without distinction."
St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, Catholic high school for girls in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Our mission is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.

St. Joseph's Academy

2307 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: 314-394-4300
Fax: 314-965-9114
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