Happy Friday! As we head into a three-day weekend with Monday off school to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, I thought this was an opportune time to let you know of a change in our diversity efforts at St. Francis. We recently made the decision to have Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinators on both the Goshen and Downtown Campuses (DEI Coordinators for short). You’ll notice the addition of the words “Equity and Inclusion” to the previously solely used “Diversity,” as this is actually more reflective of the work we want to strive for and educate students about. I’m pleased to announce that librarian Lindsy Serrano enthusiastically accepted this appointment on the Goshen Campus! She will shepherd our work and meet regularly with Alexandra Thurstone, Jen Griffith, Shelly Jones, Julie Marks, and me so we’re all on the same page in this critical area. Additionally, she will also attend and be apprised of the meetings and work we’re doing with our Middle School Black Students Association (BSA), Queer Straight Alliance (QSA), and Diversity Committee. These groups are led by Salema Jenkins, Emily Campbell, and Brian Kirby respectively. Finally, she will coordinate with the High School DEI Coordinator Brett Paice on cross-campus activities.
One example of their recent collaboration is that these groups planned our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. assembly which happened this afternoon before we dismissed for the three-day holiday weekend (too late for “press time!”). The students were given ownership into the planning of the assembly instead of administrators creating it like in many years past. Another neat feature this year is that some of the members of the High School BSA came out to Goshen to take part in our assembly both to lend a high school perspective into the impact Dr. King had on America and the world, and to help foster cross-campus relationships.
We are excited about our ongoing work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion – and this work will continue all year, not just in January!