Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office

Welcome to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion home page. For additional information on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office, please contact our Director – Mrs. Barbara Henderson at hendersonb@bellarmineprep.org or 253-761-3531. 

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office helps foster a commitment from the Bellarmine community to embrace and celebrate the diversity of the school's family and the broader community by providing opportunities to experience cultural differences. This is accomplished through activities such as the African American Summit, the Asian Summit, PAASA (Parents of African American Students Association), International Night, and round table discussions.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director Barbara Henderson speaks in classrooms about cultural differences to raise our students' awareness and help them find a reverence for each person. The hope is that our students will grow in their understanding of the heterogeneous and multicultural world which they are called to transform.

Why a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office?

  • God made each of us in God's image and likeness.
  • Jesuit education stresses being open to growth and committed to justice.
  • Diversity helps us to examine, appreciate and be critical of our own background.
  • Diversity helps us to enlarge our world and our knowledge of it by exposing us to a variety of backgrounds and traditions.
  • Diversity helps prepare us with skills for an increasingly global and pluralistic world beyond school.
  • Diversity not only helps us recognize our differences, but our similarities that are the basis for unity.
  • Diversity helps us to adopt strategies that will help correct injustices and make the world a better place.

What is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Bellarmine Preparatory School?

Diversity is more than skin deep.  The concept of diversity embraces the wide range of human characteristics used to mark or identify individual and group identities.  Although most assume that diversity refers to addressing issues from people of non-Cascasian background, ethnicity is one aspect of diversity.  Diversity is demographics such as ethnicity, race, language, religion, socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.

What are the goals of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Bellarmine Preparatory School?

  • Increase open discussion around diversity and equity issues
  • Create opportunities for the school community to show and develop greater appreciation for differences
  • More collaboration with affinity groups (ethnic, gender and social justice student groups)
  • In conjunction with the Grad at Grad Principles, to instill a life-long commitment to diversity in members of the Bellarmine community.

Diversity Organizations

  • Diversity Club – (Asian American Club, Black Student Union)
  • PAASA (Parents of African American Student Association)

Diversity in the Curriculum

Various courses at Bellarmine help students learn about and understand gender, other cultures, religions, and economic backgrounds.

  • World History
  • World Religions
  • Women’s Literature
  • Social Justice Through Service Learning
  • Contemporary Voices

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programs and Events

  • Culture Nights
  • Freshman Roundtable
  • Pot Blessing Celebration for African American Seniors
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Assembly
  • Ethnic Summits

Equity Statement

Bellarmine has a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in accordance with the Jesuit tradition.  We promote an environment of understanding, respect and inclusion of students of all backgrounds.  Bellarmine fosters the school’s commitment to the education of the whole person “cura personalis.” 

Studies show that regardless of socio-cultural backgrounds, all students exposed to diversity benefit educationally.  They have better cognitive skills including critical thinking and problem solving.  Interaction with diverse workforce helps us to become effective and empathic leaders.

Through educational awareness and professional development Bellarmine provides students, faculty and staff the opportunity to honor and understand the diverse world in which we live.

Educational Ethnic Summits

Each year there are education Ethnic Summits offered where our students either join or host other Jesuit High School’s students of color and leaders in our province (Jesuit High School in Portland, Seattle Prep, Gonzaga Prep and California Jesuit schools) for interactive workshops, hand-on projects, key note addresses, and social activities.  The purpose of the Summits is to promote dialogue, build coalitions and foster students leadership.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All School Assembly (January 17, 2017)

Every other year in January Bellarmine honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a school-wide Assembly which is student-led and developed.  Students engage the school by proposing student strategies to strategically interrupt and dismantle systemic oppression.

This year Bellarmine will hold it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Assembly on January 17th at 9:30 a.m. in the St. Ignatius Loyola Center. It will feature Dr. Michael Benitez, the Chief Diversity Officer and Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Puget Sound.

Dr. Michael Benitez
Dean of Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at University of Puget Sound

The primary role of the Dean of Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer is to explore and strategize ways to improve organizational culture and broaden campus community’s quality of life for the faculty, staff and students. 

A frequent speaker and workshop leader at conferences and colleges across the nation, Benitez has a Ph.D in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State University. Over the past decade, he has been recognized with several leadership awards as he has served in increasingly broad and challenging roles. These include director of the Office of Intercultural Development at Lafayette College and director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives and Social Justice at Dickinson College, both Pennsylvania liberal arts colleges.

Professional Development focusing on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 9/19/16

Dr. Charisse Cowan Pitre, Seattle University Professor in the Masters in Teaching Program in the Education Department. Click here to view the powerpoint.