28 Jul 2020

CHS Promotes Racial Harmony

In the document, Statement by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and their Institutions (click here for link), which we also share on our website, the Brothers write “. . . we raise our voices beyond our schools and join them to those who are crying out against and suffering from the great evils of racism, bigotry, injustice, incivility, and violence,” and “. . . to focus our young people’s attention on the struggle for justice and equality.” CHS has worked for decades to promote racial justice because the dignity of each and every individual is at the core of both our founder Fr. Coindre’s vision and the charism of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. Thus, we proclaim that Black lives are sacred. We shouldn’t have to say that because our faith teaches that all lives are sacred. We know from listening to our Black students, their parents, and alumni over the last several years that many Black students, while appreciative of the education received at CHS, have related stories about experiences of racism at school involving other students that are inconsistent with our mission to be a sanctuary for our students. As part of our ongoing effort to always make the school better, we must continue to consider what we can do to better focus our young people’s attention on the struggle for justice and equality as we are called to do by the Brothers. After carefully considering a variety of action steps on this issue, we commit to the following:

  • First, we want to listen and learn. We welcome stories, reflections, suggestions, and other input from students, parents, alumni, and friends with respect to racial equality through email at PromotingRacialHarmony@CatholicHigh.org. Administrators and Campus Ministers will respond to those who contact us.
  • Consistent with the Gospel values, we actively promote nonviolence, respect for the rights of all people, tolerance for diversity, and peace and harmony within our school community and in the community at large.
  • We consistently promote anti-racist beliefs, policies, and practices.
  • We will create a formal advisory group including representatives of students, alumni, parents, and friends to advise the administration on strategies to promote racial equality not only within our school but in the community at large.
  • During the coming school year and in subsequent years, we will hold faculty and student leadership training to promote anti-racism and contribute to greater understanding of race relations and equality.
  • We will continue and increase our intentional association with groups and individuals who work for justice and racial harmony that also support values that are consistent with the values of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
  • Through job announcements to our Black alumni, outreach to historically Black colleges and universities, and other means, we will increase our efforts to hire a more racially diverse staff to ensure that students have a more diverse group of role models at CHS.
  • We will continue to review our curriculum and, as needed, make adjustments to ensure that it reflects diversity and inclusiveness.
  • We will continue to review our students’ academic performance, determine if and where any disparities in student outcomes exist, including those based on racism, if any, and develop strategies to eliminate them while maintaining the high academic expectations for which CHS is recognized.
  • We will continue to encourage all students to take advantage of the most rigorous academic courses available so that they will have more opportunities throughout their lives.

As people of faith, we seek to do what we can to incarnate the love of Jesus Christ and make it present to all in our world—especially those who are most vulnerable. In that, and in the specific actions outlined above, there is great Hope!