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 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
- 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.”
On April 6, U-D Jesuit’s student organization, Diversity Union, hosted its second annual Diversity Convention at the school. Students from five different local area high schools attended the Convention. Represented schools were: Cranbrook-Kingswood, Regina, Mercy, Detroit Cristo Rey, Loyola Detroit, Thurston and U of D Jesuit. Students participated in two workshops on stereotypes and immigration issues. After lunch, the entire group participated in a group activity involving different social identities. Students left with a sense of how to make their school communities more inclusive.
On the weekend of March 28-31, students from ten different Jesuit high schools spent the weekend at Marygrove College exploring Detroit and its culture and history. Represented Jesuits schools were: St. Ignatius (Cleveland), Loyola Academy, St. Xavier, Rockhurst, St. Ignatius (San Francisco), Portland Jesuit, Loyola Detroit, St. Ignatius (Chicago) and Walsh Jesuit along with U of D Jesuit. Students toured the city by bus with a guided tour by Mr. Beldyga. The tour also included both local Jesuit high schools. On Friday, students spent the afternoon at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and watched the film, “The Hate U Give”, on Friday night. On Saturday, the group visited the American Muslim Center meeting with Imam Mardini and feasting on a Middle Eastern lunch. Saturday afternoon was spent at the Arab American national Museum followed by dinner provided by Fredi the Pizza Man. Student-led discussions focused on the history of Detroit and how its struggles impact its residents today.