Justice and Equity

Seton Call to Action: Black Lives Matter

A Message from the School President, Sister Ellen Marie Hagar, DC '74
In light of the most recent, yet ever occurring, racial injustices that have captured our minds and weigh heavy on our hearts, we are reminded that these atrocities offer disturbing insights into the realities of life for Black individuals everywhere. These realities include incidents of racial profiling, racial insults, racial exclusion, and tragically, racial violence. And they evoke endless emotional outcries of anger, resentment, fear, hurt, and outrage. Further, these outrages inspire urgent calls for moral and legal justice.
As individuals and institutions, our responses can be many and varied. They all point to one thing – that we get engaged. Engaged in education; engaged in causes that matter; engaged in courageous conversations; and engaged in fervent prayer. As members of the Elizabeth Seton High School community, our faith requires us to get engaged, to fight for justice, and to demand change. The way each member of the Seton community chooses to get engaged is our living statement of our desire to assert that Black Lives Matter. What we do collectively creates a needed paradigm shift for each of us and for our community.
In my most recent moments of prayer, I have become convinced that any written statement, in and of itself, is insufficient. Statements can be made without driving conscious change. My own commitments now center on two persistent questions: When and How will Black Lives Really Matter? These daring questions, unlike statements, cannot simply be posted to social media or framed in a plaque and placed in every classroom, or entered into every school handbook.  These questions demand responses that we as the Seton High School community will work to discern, to discover, to evaluate, and to implement. Thus, I begin with myself:
Personal goals:
  • that I engage in a personal plan of education
  • that I recognize that a public portrayal of racial injustice is indeed part of our school’s “Crisis Management” and demands a plan of action
  • that I engage in “intentional listening” sessions with members of the Seton Community
  • that I prioritize my primary obligation, as a Daughter of Charity, to pray with and for our suffering black community members
  • that I extend these very same actions to other minority populations 
As the president of Seton, I commit to listening and leading our community as we collaborate in our plan for action:

Our School Goals:
  • create a safe environment, across our campus and throughout our community, for our Black students and students and staff to voice their fears, their needs, and their concerns
  • that we hold courageous conversations with parents, staff, students, and alumnae to understand the realities and the injustices faced by so many in our community
  • that we engage in a well-developed plan for the professional development of our staff as they assume their roles and responsibilities
  • that we create structures for students of color wherein their voices enter the channels of Seton communication and decision-making.
  • that we examine all areas of student life for racial bias, discomfort and powerlessness
  • that we develop and implement a schoolwide plan for promoting inclusivity and the inherent dignity of our students.
Now is the time to listen, to read, to pray, to dialogue, to get engaged!  The question of how necessitates uniting our efforts for change and growth in both systematic and personal actions.
Our plan of action will be more easily accomplished if we remain united. In this oneness, let us move forward: sometimes in baby steps, sometimes in giant steps, sometimes in backwards steps that we correct, but in steps that lead us all to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter, Here and Now at Elizabeth Seton High School. This is without a doubt today’s version of the Light to Know and the Grace to Do.

List of 4 items.

  • 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.
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  • Seton Call to Action: Black Lives Matter

    Please click on the following link for actions and resorces.
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  • Alumnae School Culture Survey

    Please take a moment to complete the following survey.
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Mental Health Resources

Below are some suggestions for outside resources specifically geared towards Black girls and women. Please note that these are specifically mental health resources, and there will be a much more comprehensive list of resources for how we can all participate in action and education provided separately. 
    • Liliana

      Student Art

      Liliana '22

Bills Addressing Police Brutality and Ways to Contact Local Leaders

List of 2 items.

Suggested Resources from Staff, Students, Parents and Alumnae

List of 2 items.

  • 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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    • BLM Movement- Comprehensive Student Guidance and Action

      Black Lives Matter Student Graphic

      BLM Movement- Comprehensive Student Guidance and Action