Community Statement on behalf of SJA

Dear St. Joan Antida High School Family,

The administration, faculty, and staff of St. Joan Antida High School, like the rest of Wisconsin and the country, are feeling the weight of the persistent acts of racism. We pray for justice for Jacob Blake, as well as for George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Joel Acevedo, and the countless other victims of police brutality. We pray for peace and for real and substantive change to policies that perpetuate racism.

As a community of faith and followers of Christ, we recognize we are also called to action. We stand in full support of our students and continually take steps to ensure that their voices are heard. We must consistently examine how our own beliefs and biases affect the students with whom we interact every day. We must determine the ways that our school community can work to make sure that the larger community in which our students live is one that recognizes and honors their human dignity.

It is important that the larger SJA family knows the steps we are taking to make our students feel encouraged to speak out in a way that safely promotes inclusion for all, knowing they are being led by a faculty and staff who support their individuality. In addition to the conversations about social justice that take place daily in our classrooms, we are also creating additional opportunities for our students and faculty to voice their concerns.

  • As part of Connection Circles taking place every Wednesday, we will be partnering with outside facilitators who have experience with fostering dialogue with teens on sensitive subjects.
  • Our faculty and staff have begun professional development around:
    • Dismantling racism
    • Exploring our implicit biases
    • Examining our school culture and policies
  • We will be launching a voter registration drive to help our students and their families ensure that their voices are heard.

This is only the beginning of our work. As the school year goes on, we will be inviting members of the community to join us in both conversation and action.

We end each daily gathering with the words "We embrace, We engage, We empower." In these difficult times, we know that these ideas are more important than ever. By embracing the diversity of our school community and engaging in the hard work of confronting injustice, we know that we can be empowered to change the world.

Sincerely,

Marikris Coryell - President Megan Otero - Principal