After the murder of George Floyd, we gathered a group of alumnae and current students together with the purpose of drafting a new statement, planning a prayer service, and putting a plan together for future dialogues.
Here is the statement that was created:
As a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Incarnate Word Academy seeks to transform people and the community by promoting human dignity in all forms. We understand that there is a connection between institutional racism and the continued erosion of the dignity of human life. In alignment with our school’s mission, we unequivocally state that racism has no place in this world. We condemn the murder of George Floyd and we stand in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. We will work toward ending the racism that has been tolerated in our community for far too long.
IWA is making a commitment to look honestly at past failures, to ask for forgiveness, and to move toward healing and reconciliation. We have initiated an ongoing dialog with our current students and alumnae to see how we can best accomplish this goal. The fruits of these discussions, along with our pledge of additional resources and personnel, will guide IWA’s response to this matter in the weeks, months, and years ahead. We understand that we have much work to do, and we are committed to opening our minds and hearts to the experiences of those who have been affected by racism.
Praised be the Incarnate Word! Forever, Amen.
The alumnae and students were universal in agreement on a prayer service to take place on Monday, June 8 (lasting no more than an hour) that included the following:
- An Opening Prayer (led by Sr. Eileen – a request from the students & alumnae)
- A Statement from IWA’s new principal
- A group reading of IWA’s policy statement from both white administrators and black students and alumnae.
- An address from Danielle Harrison, IWA’s new “director of diversity” (exact title TBD)
- Student and alumnae testimonials about racism (there were 5)
- 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence.
- Closing Prayer
The prayer service was beautiful. We had roughly 500 attendees in person (all socially distanced on the soccer field) and we had hundreds more watching on Facebook Live. The Facebook Live video has since garnered over 7,000 views.
We plan to meet again with this group on June 23 to continue these conversations.