Alumnae Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee
July 1: “It’s Where We Live: An Examination of Structural Racism,” an interactive lecture and conversation led by Dr. Marcia Chatelain
July 8: "The Impact and Implications of Microaggressions" with Rachel Jones '08
July 15: Racial Allyship & Advocacy: An Alumnae Panel Discussion with Gabby Abebe '12, Erin Ponton Fiero '96, and Natasha Williams Zech '95, moderated by Deborah Isaac '11
Listen to the recording here.
March 22: Socioeconomic Status & Access, led by Juana Pacheco '85
Watch the recording here.
We are honored to serve as co-chairs of the Alumnae Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Our Committee was created after the initial History of Enslaved People Project presentation in the Fall of 2018. We were all drawn to the cause with the intent to empower our diverse Visitation alumnae.
Our first task as we gathered in January 2019 was to formulate our mission: to ensure that all Visitation alumnae feel connected to the school community long after graduation, regardless of race, nationality, socio-economic status, religion, sexual orientation, and/or identity.
Some of the most impactful events have been the “Coffee and Conversation” events. In May of 2019, we hosted about 40 alumnae of varying ages, races, and sexual identities. Our goal was to gather insight as to how our committee could better serve our alumnae community. We received wonderful suggestions and input from many alums who had intentionally distanced themselves from the school. This past September, we hosted "Facing Race--Past, Present, and Future," our second “Coffee and Conversation” event led by Katrina Fludd ’04, which featured the first African American graduate of Visi, Anne Williams ’68. This event provided an opportunity for alumnae to share very personal stories from their time on campus. Tears were shed, hugs were shared, and bonds were formed.
We have co-sponsored events such as “Faith, Witness, & Dialogue in Polarizing Times” with Visitation parent Kim Daniels, the Hesburgh film screening and discussion with production assistant Moira Hamilton ‘13, and a visit to the African American History Museum for about 40 alumnae. We have also furthered our mission by discussing various books and articles addressing topics of diversity and inclusion during our monthly committee meetings.
Moving forward, we hope to engage with more alumnae in meaningful ways. We would like to continue with our “Coffee and Conversations” series, but also add new avenues for alumnae to connect with each other and Visitation as a whole. We ask that you share any ideas for events, workshops, and speakers that can advance our cause. Another way you can help is to become involved with the Alumnae Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We meet the third Wednesday of every month in the Lalor House at 6:30 p.m. If you cannot join in person, we utilize video conferencing so that alumnae from across the country can join. We hope that you will consider becoming a part of our community!
Leena Moore-Donaldson '93, Sidonie Becton ’07 and Margaret “Mimi” Cekuta ’08