What is United by Diversity?

A multiyear focus with the goal of being more deliberate in deepening our conversations to cultivate greater respect, understanding, and celebration of our differences across our community.

The goal of the United by Diversity initiative includes many of the Characteristics of Jesuit Education. These characteristics include, but are not limited to:

  • Lifelong openness to growth
  • Instruction that is centered on education for justice, intellectual formation that develops abilities in students to reason reflectively, logically, and critically.
  • Creating “men and women for others” by providing students with intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation that will enable them to make a commitment to service and agents of change.
  • A particular concern for the poor

Initiatives

  • Develop courses in cross-cultural communication and cultural competency. These courses focus on helping students look through the “lens” of another person when it comes to different social identities as contained in the School’s Equality of Action Statement of Purpose--race, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief, age, economic status, or disability.
  • Develop programming that provides learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom for students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni. Possible programs include speakers and “lunch and learns”.
  • Assist with the effort to recruit faculty, staff and students of diverse and varied backgrounds.
  • Provide professional development to faculty and staff around cross-cultural communication and cultural competency.
  • Work with student organizations that have diversity, justice and inclusion as part of their mission and work. The student organization, Diversity Union, empowers students to educate and challenge themselves on issues regarding inclusion, opportunity and justice.
  • United by Diversity promotes self-reflection and critical thinking, place-based and experiential learning and collaborative teaching and learning that meets students where they are. When persuading someone to your way of thinking, St. Ignatius encourages us to “enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door.”

Advising

Walk-In Wednesdays

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to come visit the Counseling Office on Wednesdays with no prior appointments to speak with our staff about any and all topics.

Walk-In Wednesdays begin on Sept. 6. Students, staff and faculty are welcome to come in during periods 4-6.

Appointments can be made for other days of the week with Tom Costello at thomas.costello@uofdjesuit.org.

Events

Room 005 (Across from Counseling)

Organizational meeting for the Diversity Union. Tom Costello will be the club moderator. If you cannot attend and would like to join, please see Mr. Costello (located in the counseling office).

Read More

Film & Book Suggestions

Each month I will post a recommended book that I have read that fits within the mission and work of United by Diversity. I welcome your reaction to the book if you choose to read it as well as any other book you can suggest to the greater U-D Jesuit community. I will include your suggested readings on the webpage.

September’s Recommendation:

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, Greg Boyle, S.J. (Free Press, New York 2010). 217 pages.

It is fitting that my first recommended reading comes from a Jesuit who has dedicated his life to being “with” others. Fr. Greg Boyle, or “G”, as his homies call him, was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1984. During his pastoring of Dolores Mission in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, Fr. Boyle started a gang intervention program that became Homeboy Industries-http://www.homeboyindustries.org/.

In his book, Fr. Boyle challenges us to “find room for those who are left out”. His writing and work centers on the concept of “kinship” or that we all belong to each other. Fr. Boyle demonstrates this through telling the stories of those he has served. While there is good in his messaging, there is also tremendous tragedy and sadness as he tells the stories of men and women he has worked with who have died as a result of gang violence.

Fr. Boyle expands on the well-known challenge from Fr. Arrupe to be a “woman and man for others”. He asks us to be a “woman and man with others”. Fr. Boyle tells us that Jesus was one with the other.

I leave you with two questions from Fr. Boyle:
  • How can we obliterate what separates us?
  • How can we stop forgetting that we all belong to each other?
I hope you enjoy the thoughts and writing of Fr. Boyle.


Film of the Month Recommendation
Each month I will post a recommended film that I have viewed that fits within the mission and work of United by Diversity. I encourage parents and students to watch the film together and discuss it after you watch it. I welcome your reaction to the film as well as any other film you can recommend to the greater U-D Jesuit community. I will include your suggested films on the webpage.

September’s Recommendation:

12th and Clairmount (2017)
My first recommended film comes on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Rebellion in Detroit. It was the summer that I sat in a classroom at UDJHS and I remember that week quite well. It was one of the most violent civil disturbances as 43 people lost their lives. The filmmakers tell the story using home movie footage donated by Detroit citizens. Over 600 reels were received. The stories are personal, insightful and moving. The narration is interesting because you do not see the face of the speaker. It requires you to focus on their story.

The language we use in describing that time becomes important. Was it a “rebellion”? Was it a “riot”? Was it an “uprising” or “revolution? What do you think?

We Are All Maroon

We are beginning a campaign to speak with students about what diversity means to them and its importance in not just our school building, but outside the walls of The High. Stay tuned for our student testimonials.

Diversity Union

  • Arabic Club
  • Black Awareness Society for Education (B.A.S.E.)
  • Celtic Club
  • Chinese Club
  • Diversity Union
  • International Food Club
  • Latin Club
  • Spanish Club

Recources

There is No Place for Hate in Virginia
A Message from Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities President & CEO Jonathan C. Zur

Eight Ways Teachers Can Fight Hate & Injustice
A MiddleWeb Blog by Rita Platt

Racism, Bigotry, & White Supremacy in Charlottesville: Ignatian Network Leaders Respond
Ignatian Solidarity Network



Meet Our Team

Thomas Costello

Class of 1971
Titles: Director of Multicultural and Inclusion Initiatives
Email:

Most recently, Costello spent the past four years teaching in the School of Communication Studies and serving as a faculty-in-residence at Ohio University. He taught classes in communication among cultures, cross-cultural communication, conflict management, courtroom rhetoric and the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, he served as the chair of the Scripps College of Communication Diversity Committee.

The majority of Costello's career was as the general counsel for Compuware Corporation for 24 years.

Thomas Costello Full Bio