Gonzaga Preparatory School

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Reading and Resources

Gonzaga Prep's Office of Equity and Inclusion has compiled the following list of readings, resources, and foundational documents that help to support the work of the office.

Catholic Social Teaching is grounded in the truth that all people are created in God’s image, and imbued with human dignity that must be respected and upheld. From this fundamental belief in human dignity flows a commitment to the common good, care for the most vulnerable in society, and solidarity. Our Catholic faith calls us to defend the sanctity of life at all times and work against injustices that deny human dignity and devalue life.

In 2018, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) authored a document called Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism that calls all Catholics to "a genuine conversion of heart, a conversion that will compel change, and the reform of our institutions and society."

To learn more about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and their Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, click here.

As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, we recognize the importance of prioritizing our efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Both the USCCB and a letter to Jesuit schools and ministries by former Provincial Scott Santarosa, S.J., have made it clear that we are called to this work and have provided guideposts and foundational support for these efforts.

Additionally, as a Jesuit school, Gonzaga Prep is expected to adhere to the standards and benchmarks of Jesuit schools. This past spring, the Jesuit schools updated their standards and benchmarks for Jesuit Schools, specifically with regards to Domain 5: Faith That Lives Justice.

In 2015, the school created the Office of Equity and Inclusion in order to institutionalize its works for diversity. The decision was motivated by a desire to strengthen support for students of color, increase retention of students of color, and be more inclusive to students of all backgrounds. At the same time, the Society of Jesus was encouraging schools to implement programs to promote equity. Gonzaga Prep’s first Director of Equity and Inclusion was hired in Spring 2017.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion partners with the Spokane community to ensure every member of the Prep community has the resources necessary to understand what it means to be inclusive, committed to antiracism, and an ally in working toward equal justice for all.

As Catholics, we share the belief in the dignity of each person, a concern for the common good and the most vulnerable among us, solidarity, and care for God’s creation.

While these themes are found throughout the curricula of various departments, the senior-level Social Justice Theology course intentionally focuses on Catholic Social Teaching, which is inherently concerned with human dignity and how individuals grow, succeed and participate in our local, national, and global community. Through this course, seniors study social issues (economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice, etc.), through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, and critically reflect on how our faith calls us to create a more just and loving world.

The Social Justice course consists of five units: Foundations of Catholic Social Teaching, Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, Environmental Justice, Economic Justice, and Racial Justice. The curriculum for the Racial Justice unit comes from Saint Mary’s Press, which focuses on change, unity, and solidarity with people from all walks of life.

A key strategic goal moving forward is to analyze all of our curriculum to ensure it promotes the dignity of each person and fosters an environment where all students can be represented.

We strive to ensure all of our students feel welcomed and valued, as well as to create a culture where students and teachers form relationships and are invited to share, reflect, and learn collaboratively. The Profile of the Graduate, our Jesuit foundational document, aims to produce students who are “open to growth, intellectually engaged, religiously alive, loving, and committed to doing justice.” As a Jesuit school, we are committed to teaching students to be critical thinkers and empathetic listeners, as our diversity of perspectives adds value to our classroom experience.

As we engage in conversations in our classrooms and co-curricular activities, we ask our students to live the Profile of the Graduate.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion currently sponsors numerous affinity groups and clubs, such as Diversity Club, Asian Pacific Islander Club, Black Student Union, LatinX Club, Native American Club, People Including People, and Empowerment (women’s leadership). In addition to student affinity groups, the office sponsors guest speakers and other campus events such as Words Matter, Courageous Conversations, a Native American Mass, and Heritage Week.

The Director of Equity and Inclusion, Tefi Ma’ake, plans on expanding support for students, as well as adding a Diversity Council. In collaboration with the Dean of Students, Ms. Ma’ake will provide ongoing student leadership formation, training, and support.

In 2019, all faculty and staff completed a cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence. This groundwork allowed us to identify ways to ensure all students feel welcomed, supported, and seen at Gonzaga Prep. New faculty and staff are required to complete the inventory during their first year on campus.

Last year, we engaged in a faculty retreat based on the tenets of the Open Wide Our Hearts letter, and we participated in a yearlong implicit bias training. The school continues to prioritize professional development around diversity, equity, and inclusion during our scheduled employee meetings and in-service days.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding equity and inclusion, please contact Tefi Ma’ake, our Director of Equity and Inclusion, or Cindy Reopelle, the Principal.