Justice and Equity

Seton Call to Action

Daughters of Charity Speak Out on Acts of Violence and Hatred toward Asian American/Pacific Islander Community

As women of faith, grounded in our Christian belief that all people are made in the image of God, we, the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, USA, decry recent events of violence and hatred against the Asian American/Pacific Islander community. Each act of hate and discrimination is abhorrent in a country built by immigrants and founded on the principle that all people are created equal. Incidences of violence against any person based on their race, faith or way of life diminishes our society as a whole. 

In 2020, the Daughters of Charity took a stand affirming the dignity and human rights of all persons and pledged to eradicate racism in ourselves, the communities we serve and our country. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, previously subtle forms of racism against the Asian American/Pacific Islander community have exploded into the open with innocent persons bearing the brunt of misguided fear and blame, promulgated throughout the last 13 months. 

We can no longer allow the next news cycle to move this issue from our immediate focus. It is long past time to put a stop to hatred, racism, and violence in all forms. The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, USA call on all people to take action to confront racism; support those most vulnerable in their communities who endure discrimination and aggression on a daily basis, and make their voices heard by lawmakers at all levels of government. 

“We must love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of his love
St. Vincent de Paul 
Student Voices

Black Student Union

Students have also formed a Black Student Union to be voices of action that promote Awareness (educating others on experiences and issues within our communities and vocalizing a need for change), Support (giving space for young women to express themselves freely and provide a community of healing, and Service (mobilizing to create the changes we see and create a cycle of engagement). The Black Student Union meets weekly for in-depth conversations around the humanity and diversity of Black people.

Click here to access the student-run BSU page!

    • Black History Month Presentation

Resources for Students, Staff, Families and Alumnae

Suggested Resources

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  • Staff Anti-racism Discussion Group

    Seton's staff anti-racism discussion group was formed in May 2020 in response to the need to do more to challenge the racism that is still so painfully obvious in American society. Our group is meant to support and encourage each other as we become better educated about the systemic racism that shapes our society and institutions and as we work to confront that racism as forcefully as possible. 

    At each monthly meeting, we discuss a book, movie, podcast, or online resource that helps us understand racism and become actively antiracist. As of March 2021, these have included:

    --Ta-Nehisi Coates's book, Between the World and Me,
    --Robin DiAngelo's book, White Fragility, 
    --Ibram X. Kendi's book, How to Be an Antiracist,
    --Ava DuVernay's documentary movie, 13th,
    --The podcast Nice White Parents,
    --The podcast According to Weeze,
    --Rachel Cargle's Do the Work 30-Day Plan and Eddie Moore Jr.'s 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, and
    --The podcast Teaching While White.
  • Books

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
    Ibram X. Kenedi, How to Be an Anti-Racist
    Brian Stevenson, Just Mercy
    Robin Diangelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism
    Beverly Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
    Ibram X. Kenedi, Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
    Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
    Carol Anderson, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
    Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
    Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
    Ta-Nehisi Coates, We Were Eight Years in Power
    Marc Lamont Hill, Nobody: Casualties on America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond
    Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law
    Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns
    James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
    Mira Jacob, Good Talk
    Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk about Race
    Patrisse Khan-Cullors, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
    Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (poetry)
    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States
    Latasha Morrison, Be the Bridge 
    Sue, Derald Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence 
    Helms, Janet A Race is a Nice Thing to Have
    Read More
  • Videos

    6-part series currently available to view on Amazon Prime Video: 
    “Being Nice Is Not Going To End Racism”

    Discussion on Racism in our Streets and Structures, at Georgetown on June 5, 2020 (starts at about the 50 minute mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MmGfxKWqcw&feature=youtu.be

    Uncomfortable conversations with a Black Man
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Contact Local Leaders

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  • Statement from the Daughters of Charity

    Please take a moment to read the statement below from the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, USA.
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  • Statement from the Board of Directors

    Please take a moment to read the statement below from the Elizabeth Seton High School Board of Directors.
    Read More
  • Seton Call to Action: Black Lives Matter

    Please click on the following link for actions and resources.
    Read More

Communications Archive

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  • Call to Action: Current Academic Initiatives

    Seton’s commitment to a plan of action to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity has supported several new academic initiatives:

    Educating the Seton Community

    The continued education of our staff and students, according to our Call to Action: Black Lives Matter, has engaged us in the following topics and discussions developed by our students and moderators: 

    •    Redlining
    •    School to Prison Pipeline

    We also have also participated in two speaker-led discussions:

    •    Colorism – Dr. Nikki Lane, Spelman University
    •    Interrupting Microaggressions - Dr. Jessy Molina, Inclusion Trainer and Consultant

    Curriculum Changes

    As we continue to review our curriculum, we are excited about some new coursework being offered to students in 2021-2022:

    •    The English Department will change its focus of Freshmen English to Multicultural Literature.

    •    The Religion Department will offer a new course: History of the Catholic Church - This elective will explore the History of the Catholic Church from the 17th century to the present. The students will come to know that the Church is    the living Body of Christ today and, as such, has both divine and human elements. Special emphasis will be on the experience of Black Catholics. 

    •    The Social Studies Department will offer a new course: The Evolution of African American Women in US History. This course offers an introduction to the sociological, historical, and political experiences of African American women, their roles and contributions to society. With a focus on historical and contemporary responses to intersectional challenges African American women face, this course will provide opportunities to examine the systematic convergence of gender, class and racial bias. It will also focus on the comparative examination of the perspectives, contributions and concerns of African American women.  Drawing on an array of primary and secondary sources, African American womanhood will be explored through music, art, print and digital texts, oral histories, film, poetry and current events.
  • Seton Speaks and Topics

    The Call to Action for Black Lives Matter was immediately heard by Seton students who have developed and implemented many new initiatives at Seton: Seton Speaks.

    A team of staff members and students have joined together to implement a new form of dialogue at Seton entitled Seton Speaks. Led by student leaders, each week the entire school community meets in Seton Speaks circles of approximately ten people to listen, to learn, to reflect, and to explore issues of justice and equity that affect all of us today.

    Since its origin in October, we have explored many engaging topics:


    The Danger of a Single Story
    Jessy Molina, Diversity Trainer and Facilitator

    We reflected on our own lives and shared stories about when we held “single stories” about others, and when others held a “single story” about us. Our goal was to build community and connection, empathy for one another, and a deeper understanding of how to approach each other with an open mind and heart.

    Voter Suppression

    We were introduced to the history of voter suppression and its adverse effects on minority populations. We also heeded the call of young people today who challenged us all to reverence and employ conscientiously “the right to vote”.


    Reflection on Election Day
    Seton Staff

    We joined together for prayer and reflection for Election Day. Prayer, meditation, and journaling were opportunities chosen by all.

    Intersectionality, Stereotyping and Controlling Images

    We explored together the danger of not simply stereotyping, but also, the intersection of multiple negative images of identity that become “controlling images” that have perpetuated racism, sexism, classism, poverty and other forms of social injustice as they have made these injustices appear to be natural and inevitable parts of life, and have led to internal and external oppression.

    Circles of Multiculturalism
    Jessy Molina, Diversity Trainer and Facilitator

    We explored the pain and the pride that are often associated with our identities as we built connections with one another. We discussed how we can our consciousness to better understand others’ cultures and therein become anti-racist.


    Racial History in the Re-Construction Period
    Dr. Kim Hansen, Mt. St. Mary’s University

    We investigated advances in racial justice post-Civil-War as well as setbacks that occurred in race relations as laws were developed to deny the rights of the 13th , 14th and 15th amendments and as America lived the realities of Native American Wars, Anti-Immigration, and Imperialism.
  • Statement on the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021

    We, the Elizabeth Seton High School Community, are extremely saddened by the decisions and the disorder of many that resulted in shameful violence at the Capitol on January 6. These actions not only counter the lessons that we have learned about democracy, but are a clear and hurtful reminder of the racism that persists in America. 
    Our motto of Light to Know, Grace to Do urges each one of us to move forward from this atrocity with an understanding that systemic change is imperative now more than ever. We cannot proceed blind to the differences we have witnessed. We must strive to examine the troubles of our nation and seek and work for justice. We are called to listen to one another, to dialogue with one another, and to stand up for the truths of the Gospel. We are called to these actions in consideration of our past students, in defense of our present students, and with hope for our future students. 
    Our immediate concern is with the well-being of our students and community members who must face this racial disparity all too often. As a community, we have gathered together to pray, and we have offered time for students to meet with guidance counselors, staff, and administration. We will continue to offer opportunities to share resources and to speak together in safe spaces.
    We encourage all members of our community to take time to process these events and to check in with one another. We ask you to join us as we pray for healing, for equality, and for peace. We invite you to continue to visit the justice and equity link here for additional resources.
  • President's Update Fall 2020

    Over the summer, Seton has been reflecting very seriously on our Call to Action: Black Lives Matter. As a first step, Seton created a task force to assist us with the examination of our students’ lived experiences and to help us with engaging in courageous conversations with our community. The work of the task force will give us a vision for needed change, for greater equity, and for community empowerment.
    The Task Force will be inviting rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students to complete an online survey to help them with their work.
    As the task force continues its work, the administration has established several immediate action strategies:

    1.    The school president will engage in a personal plan of study.

    2.    Bias Training will begin with those who have the most responsibility for discipline, and continue for all staff.

    3.    An entire examination of the curriculums for Religion, English, Social Studies, and the Arts will be conducted to identify areas of “unconscious deselect”. The examination will be done at first by the departments and then sent to a third party for review. Teachers in these disciplines will be given the opportunity to complete coursework in African American History. In the interim, more seminars, study groups, and discussions will be offered to students relative to Black history, sociology and literature. The details of these additions are still being planned as we select the instructional mode for next year. We will keep you informed.

    4.    Interracial conflict among students will be addressed with the help of our alumnae.

    5.    Seton Staff will collaborate with students in establishing structures that allow their voices to enter Seton’s governance and in creating safe spaces for Black students to voice their concerns.
    The commitment of the Seton Board of Directors and the administration is rooted in the context of the very lives of our students. We find ourselves haunted by the words of a student who said, “Every day, I look into the mirror and see my black face and realize that I have to prove myself.” Seton must work with others in developing ways to supplant this ideology. As our work continues, we will be engaging in more discussions with parents, students, and alumnae. The work we have to do is formidable and challenging, but it is compelling and crucial when you listen to the voices or our young women.
  • President's Letter

    June 5th Presiden't Letter to the Community.
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  • Forums and Surveys

    These events are now complete:

    Members of the Seton Community are invited to join in a Call to Action Virtual Open Forum August 10-13 (times: 1st group 5-6 pm, 2nd group 6:30-7:30 pm- see below for schedule). As a member of Seton's community, you are encouraged to share your experiences and to let your voice be heard. The link to register and schedule by class year are listed below:

    Virtual Open Forum Schedule:

    Please sign up according to your affiliation with Elizabeth Seton High School.

    *August 10-- Seton Class of 2016-2020;
    Seton Class of 2011-2015

    *August 11--Seton Class of 2006-2010;
    Seton Class of 2000-2005

    *August 12--Seton Parent Body (Current & Former);
    Seton Class of 1990-1999

    *August 13--
    5:00pm-5:45pm ESHS Staff (Current & Former);
    5:45pm-6:30pm Class of 1963-1989;
    6:30pm-8:00pm Current Students

    In response to the concerns regarding the social climate at Elizabeth Seton High School, the members of the alumnae community are invited and strongly encouraged to be a part of change, and to be a catalyst for growth.

    We ask that you please take a moment to complete this survey by clicking here that will help the Elizabeth Seton High School Task Force collect data and resolve issues concerning our school culture.

    The survey will take NO LONGER than 20 minutes to complete. Thank you for taking the time to help shape Seton's future. Your voice matters.