Racial Equity Update
Friday, January 15, 2021
Racial Equity Update
In the summer of 2020, as a result of societal issues, Anjanette Morrow Clark ’83 and Michelle Martin-Bonner ’84 met with Dr. Goodwin and Mr. McNamee to discuss the need to exact change within the systems of Rosati-Kain. Anjanette, Michelle, and other volunteers then facilitated listening sessions with staff members, parents and alumnae to garner ideas and identify opportunities for growth.
Since this summer, Anjanette has developed and delivered professional development for the staff relative to teaching and planning for the 90-minute block schedule and cultural competence. She spent two days with the staff as a support for these professional development days. Anjanette is also a member of the curriculum council, attending each meeting to collaborate in crafting a foundational document describing the mission of the council and providing resources for the development of a culturally responsive and sound curriculum.
Michelle has also regularly met with Dr. Goodwin to advise, consult, and gauge the climate both within and outside the school. As a result, the Truth, & Reconciliation Committee formed, and Lauren Drummond Littrell ’84 facilitated Rosati-Kain’s first Unity Lab. The Unity Lab is an eight-week program aimed at helping participants to heal from the trauma of racism and bring about restoration, with the ultimate goal of racial reconciliation. In addition to Lauren using her own ministry tools and sharing her personal experiences, the primary resource for the Unity Lab is the workbook entitled, Multiethnic Conversations: An Eight Week Journey Toward Unity in Your Church by Mark Deymaz and Oneya Fennell Okuwobi.
R-K’s first Unity Lab group was a big success and included parents, teachers, alumnae and a Benedictine monk. Also noteworthy, Erin Brennan and Ronda Smith-Branch ‘02 developed an art project that would allow students to express themselves using methods not to feel targeted or isolated. The Truth & Reconciliation committee plans to build on this work. If you would like to participate in the committee or the next eight-week program starting soon, please contact Michelle Martin Bonner at [email protected]. To find out more about Love One Another Ministries, visit loveoneanotherstl.org or email Lauren at [email protected]rstl.org.
Both Anjanette and Michelle have met with Jamie Burke and Mary Wald from our student support services. They have reviewed and combined resources to better serve the students at R-K, especially the needs of the BIPOC population. With Jamie and Mary’s help, Michelle has developed the R-K Sister’s Keeper Mentoring Program that will launch soon. This program will allow current students and recent alumnae to connect and build relationships with older alumnae to navigate schools and careers. Work is also being done to bridge the gap with alumnae by developing out-of-state R-K circles with Lucretia Clemons Jones ’89 and Dionne Peoples-Jones' ‘86 help. We hope this is the beginning of more meaningful interactions.
Anjanette and Michelle will continue as school consultants this semester. They will both continue to meet with Dr. Goodwin and Mr. McNamee to provide coaching, insight and advice in regards to making Rosati-Kain a more welcoming school for all students and to begin to lay the foundation to create a culture that honors inclusion, diversity and equity.