Message from the Pastor

February 24, 2019 Issue

This week's column is written by Daniela Krum, Director of Diversity & Equity

Holy Trinity School has always been a place that values all as they are—a place that welcomes, accepts and teaches the whole child. I have witnessed this spirit firsthand not only as part of the staff for the past seven years, but also as a student here more than 20 years ago. Even then, kindness mattered. When Holy Trinity created the Diversity and Equity Initiative (DEI) three years ago, we wanted to dive into these topics with intention and purpose. We strongly believe that a diverse student body benefits everyone in the HTS community, and that diversity among us is to be emphasized and celebrated. Drawing on Ignatian Spirituality, the work of the DEI committee is ever-changing and based on kindness and love for students, faculty and parents alike. When our students graduate, we hope they go out into the world with compassion and respect for these issues.

Our goal is that all students, parents, teachers, and staff feel included and valued in our spaces. There is a three-pronged approach helping to promote diversity throughout the school. One, a faculty diversity team meets to determine goals and strategies to increase and promote diversity among the staff and to honor the diversity that exists in our classrooms. Two, a parent diversity committee meets monthly to give feedback on how we can enhance the student and parent experience through support. Finally, we work with our students, who address these core values daily in the Examen, throughout our curriculum, and in their interactions with each other and their teachers. Earlier this month, 15 Upper School students explored topics of diversity at the “Be Seen, Be Heard” Conference hosted at St. Andrews School in Potomac, MD. Four hundred local middle school students were presented with ideas about race, privilege, identity, and sexism. The impact that these discussions and presentations made on our students was remarkable.

“[While] there are awful things that people do in this world...there is an opportunity to change, to help make the world a place where all can live in unity as one people,” one of our 8th grade students said. “This experience as a whole really moved me and helped me see the struggles that people so different yet so alike to me are going through and how I can make a difference.”

One of our 6th grade students added, “It's important we know what's going on so we can learn to avoid [problems] or cope with them. In order for you to learn from your mistakes, you have to make mistakes and then notice them. If we don't know what's going on we may repeat history and hurt people.”

The enthusiasm brought back by the group who attended, as well as the energy for our ongoing and future initiatives, makes us hopeful that we may live up to the words of St. Ignatius Loyola: “Go forth and set the world on fire.”