Désirée Bayonet, Director of Educational Technology, was featured in the Georgetowner for Women's History Month as a woman in STEAM.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
God is present everywhere, and every person is His work."
St. Francis de Sales
In keeping with our mission of “Living Jesus,” Georgetown Visitation is committed to fostering an institutional culture which honors the dignity and sacredness of every individual.
As a Salesian community, we derive strength from the belief that all people, as children of God, merit respect and equality. To fulfill the mission of preparing students to respond in a Christ-like manner to others, the Church and the global community, we recognize that it is vital to continue to develop and maintain an environment which values diversity, in all its multiplicity. Georgetown Visitation believes that we are strengthened intellectually and morally when diverse voices, perspectives, and backgrounds are present. We believe God calls us actively to embrace empathy, equity, and social justice in our work to educate women of faith, vision, and purpose.
Georgetown Visitation Philosophy of Community Culture
Living Our Mission
Our formal diversity program was started with the encouragement of then President Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM, '48 & '50 in 2000. Our efforts are led by Rachel Jones '08, our Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Rachel works with the Board Diversity & Inclusion Committee; the Alumnae Diversity & Inclusion Committee; and the Parents’ Association Diversity & Inclusion Committee in partnership with our President and Principal. The Board Committee includes members of Visitation’s faculty and staff, including Admissions and College Counseling.
At Visitation, we respect the individuality of each member of the community always recognizing, to paraphrase the words of Francis de Sales, that in the Lord’s garden there are many different flowers and their very differences contribute to the beauty of the whole garden. We build a faith community that calls our members to understand the value of diversity and to respect the dignity of each person.
Visitation condemns discrimination in all forms.
The school seeks faculty, staff, and students from a variety of backgrounds whose diverse gifts enrich the community.
Diversity programs educate students through activities such as conferences, workshops, clubs, and service.
Policies and programs support the different academic, social, and economic needs of the school community.
The school encourages a practical living of the Salesian virtues by fostering self-respect and thoughtful concern for others.
The Board of Trustees and administration ensure the presence of Salesian values in all school policies.
Visitation actively works to eliminate systems of oppression and discrimination by encouraging dialogue around antiracism, equity, and inclusion.
Georgetown Visitation's Black Women's Society, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, hosted students and faculty for their annual Black History Month assembly in Nolan Center on February 23.
U.S. History teacher Dr. Derrick Angermeier took his students on a walking trip to the former site of the Wormley School to see how the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War affected the neighborhood of Georgetown.
The junior class embarked on an all-class field trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in October as part of a cross-curricular education experience for students.
Rachel Jones ‘08 returns to 35th Street in a new role: Georgetown Visitation’s first Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, responsible for creating and directing our diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and education for students, families, and faculty & staff.
students are women of color
years Visi has attended POCC
affinity groups students can join
Black Women's Society founded
For nearly 20 years, diversity & inclusion has been a vital part of professional development for Visitation educators. During that time, the school has sent between two and eight faculty and staff members each year to the National Association of Independent Schools' People of Color Conference in addition to several other local workshops, events, and webinars.
Last year, Visitation welcomed Georgetown University's Dr. Marcia Chatelain to campus for a workshop on how to teach about slavery. (Explore Visitation's History of Enslaved People Project.)
Throughout the year, adults on campus are invited to participate in a diversity and inclusion professional learning community, hosted by Diversity Co-Coordinators Raynetta Jackson-Clay and Peggy Judge Hamilton '85.
In recent years, this group has read and discussed the following books, which we recommend:
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD
On Our Bookshelf
Visitation consciously and continuously explores how to expand the diversity of authors read during a student’s four years at Visitation. In addition to essays and poetry from authors like Toni Morrison and Langston Hughes, a few of the books that are currently part of the curriculum are:
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Left to Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
- Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson