Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Launched

November 10, 2020

our lady of mercy student

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women is pleased to announce the formation of its 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 where 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.

“We are so pleased at the positive and constructive feedback we received during our listening sessions,” said Mercy President Pam Baker ‘74, P’12. “The ideas and passion demonstrated by the participants have helped the school create a solid foundation for this Committee.”

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 Murell 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)

“I am so excited to be a part of this committee,” said Chair Sharon Murell Dilbert ‘84. “It will help implement change around racism, bias, and diversity for our future leaders!”

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. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.mercyhs.com/diversity or contact program director Linda Dickey at yqvpxrl@zrepluf.pbz.

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