Our school chaplain prayed during chapel one morning, "Lord, motivate us to create a school climate that accepts and honors all types of diversity."
His use of the word "motivate" in the prayer urges us to actively get to know each other and build relationships. It entreats us to extend ourselves, to listen, and to learn from one another. To be motivated is to be energized and ready to create change where change is necessary, to advocate for social justice.
For years our school mission has embraced the celebration of diversity by working towards a greater understanding of one another. At the heart of our multicultural efforts is the imperative to "honor the unique value of each of our members as a child of God in a caring community."
Multiculturalism is about everyone and all the wondrous components that make each one of us unique in the world. How rich we are in the combination of similarities and differences that we bring to our SSSAS community! Instituting equitable opportunities for all students and adults to share, grow, and prosper is the core of the multicultural mission of our school.
Multiculturalism reminds us of St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians: "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone."
The multicultural efforts at our school continue to be manifold. All of our faculty and staff take a mandatory six-week Multicultural Seminar led by the director of institutional equity & diversity. By learning current research and engaging in personal reflection, we are challenged to re-evaluate and transform our teaching practice. The JK- 12 Multicultural Committee examines community life, curriculum, and professional development in order to enhance the learning experience for all. Student groups lead their peers by fostering dialogue, promoting social justice, and creating an equitable environment for all students: United in Courageous Conversations (UC2) in the Middle School and The Unity Leadership Council comprised of student leaders from cultural clubs and affinity groups in the Upper School. Finally, our APT has an ardent and welcoming Diversity Committee that strives to enhance inclusion and facilitate connections within our community. We also offer SEED (Seeking Educartional Equity & Divesity) Conversations for all interested faculty and staff on a monthly basis and affinity groups for faculty and students.
Our school community continues to pray for the motivation and courage to create an accepting school community. The world is a complicated place and our students will be challenged to grapple with complex issues. Our hope is that they learn and practice compassion and justice while they are with us and that they leave motivated to make the world a better place for all.