Working to Make Mercy an Agent of Change

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women has formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The work of the Committee has been shaped by the feedback from the virtual listening sessions we conducted over the summer when we heard concerns and ideas for change and action from students, parents, and alumnae. The sessions, Racism – Working to Make Mercy an Agent of Change, were facilitated by Linda Dickey, Chair of the Cheryl Speranza Leadership Institute. One of the key takeaways was the desire for Mercy to take a more consciously anti-racist stance, as well as an active role in ensuring diversity and equity among the Mercy community.

In alignment with the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concern of combating racism, the Committee will focus its energies on providing ongoing strategic direction and operational guidance to support development of a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan at the school. The Committee will specifically:

  • Promote greater diversity within Mercy by recommending strategic initiatives to recruit and support students and staff from diverse backgrounds
  • Suggest and implement research-based strategies for Mercy staff and students to learn how to recognize racism and celebrate diversity
  • Suggest and/or provide training for Mercy staff and students on unconscious bias and racism
  • Support Mercy leadership in the implementation of recommended strategic initiatives
  • Promote participation in activities supporting diversity in our school community
  • Communicate diversity equity and inclusion initiatives, actions, and results to key audiences inside and outside Mercy

The Committee is chaired by Sharon Murrell Dilbert ‘84; Linda Dickey is the program director. It has representation from our students, faculty, staff, administration, Board of Trustees, the Sisters of Mercy, and the community. It is composed of the following members:

  • Parent Subcommittee: Liz Shim P‘23, Ted Jordan P‘21, Chris Garnish P’24, and Silvia Caraballo P’22
  • Academic Subcommittee: Sonya Sampson, Sherylanne Diodato ‘93, Katy Miller, Sarah DeMulder, and Sr. Karlien Bach ‘75
  • Alumnae Subcommittee: Matasha Murell Jones ‘94, Tae’lor Jackson ‘16, Caitlyn O’Toole ‘10
  • Student Subcommittee: Emma Phelps ‘22 Olivia Shim ‘23, Molly Kantz ‘22, Janaa Smith ‘22, MariArelis Flores ‘23, and Grace Reese ‘23
  • Cheryl Speranza Leadership Institute Subcommittee: Paul Speranza P’92, ‘94, Olivia Shim ‘23, Liz Shim P’23, MariArelis Flores ‘23, and Grace Reese ’23
  • Program Support: Mike Waters GP’25, Teri Edom, Elizabeth Ciaccio ‘79, Donna Horn, Dana Whipple, and Lori Purcell P’20
  • Sponsors: Pamela Fennell Baker ‘74 P’12, Martin Kilbridge
  • Community Advisors: Ed Doherty P’05, Caroline Whelan Tolbert ‘02, and Megan Bell ‘99 (Mercy Board of Trustees Member)

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women is committed to working alongside everyone in the Circle of Mercy as we strive to learn from the past and better our future; thank you for your support as we conduct this important work. We anticipate communicating regular updates to keep everyone within the Circle of Mercy well-informed as to our progress. To learn more or to get involved, contact Program Director Linda Dickey at yqvpxrl@zrepluf.pbz.

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