On Thursday, October 14, Regis High School hosted an informal gathering of colleagues of color from Jesuit schools in the New York City area. Organized by Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Belkise Dallam, the event served as an opportunity for administrators, faculty, and staff of color to share their unique educational perspectives and discuss methods of better serving an increasingly diverse population of students across the Jesuit network.
The evening's events kicked off with remarks from Clyde Cole '87, an educational consultant and Co-Founder of the REACH Program, who spoke about the important roles diverse teachers and other school leaders play in living the Jesuit mission. Attendees gathered afterwards to enjoy light refreshments and further connect.
The idea for the Employees of Color gathering originated from a professional development effort coordinated at Saint Peter’s Preparatory School in Jersey City, NJ, where Dallam previously served as Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Held for the first time in May 2019, the event allowed for educators to address inclusivity efforts within their school communities and encourage a deeper dialogue on these issues with students and their colleagues. A second EOC meeting took place at Xavier High School in November 2019, but future gatherings were put on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was so great to see so many Jesuit educators of color on Thursday night," said Dallam. “Since our initial event in May of 2019, we had hopes of continuing these gatherings. Some of us had not seen each other since the last gathering in November of 2019. It was nice to have us in one space and we hope to continue these gatherings once in the Spring and again next fall at different Jesuit schools in the area."