Please continue to return to this page for updates on our ongoing work.
June 4, 2020: St. Joseph’s Academy issued a statement regarding racial inequality, systemic racism and social injustice in our country today. SJA asked for feedback from members of the school community on specific action plans, including guest speakers, panel discussions, events that amplify Black voices and history, networking groups to connect students and alumnae, anti-bias professional development for faculty and staff and parent/student/faculty committees to address concerns.
June 5, 2020: Hundreds of SJA community members responded to the statement, sharing their experiences, perspectives and insight. More than 120 alumnae, parents, students and friends of SJA volunteered to be part of the process moving forward. SJA announced that an advisory group would be formed and a facilitator would be selected.
July 15, 2020: Following a national search, SJA announced that Dr. Katrice Albert had been chosen to lead the school in its work toward achieving inclusive excellence. Dr. Albert, a leading national voice for equity-minded, culturally responsive leadership practices, will spend the next year providing support, guidance and coaching with specific emphasis on cultural understanding, school and community needs and strategic visioning juxtaposed with Catholic traditions and philosophies. Dr. Albert will lead the assessment and training processes and lay the groundwork for the school’s long-term plan.
Dr. Albert has worked with the United States Department of Homeland Security, the State of Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Association of Junior Leagues International, the California State University System, Notre Dame University and the University of Nebraska, among others. She served as the executive vice president of inclusion and human resources at the National College Athletic Association. Prior to joining the NCAA, Dr. Albert served as vice president for equity and diversity of the University of Minnesota system. At Louisiana State University, Dr. Albert served as vice provost for equity, diversity and community outreach. As LSU’s chief diversity officer, she developed and implemented strategic initiatives and policies aimed at cultivating a campus environment that embraces difference, sustains inclusion and enhances institutional access and equity.
July-August 2020: SJA President Jan R. Breen worked to select 22 members of the Diversity Action Committee. This leadership group will work with SJA’s administrators to listen, learn, lead, guide and shepherd the school’s work toward inclusive excellence. The Diversity Action Committee will offer sustained leadership, guidance and recommendations to successfully integrate strategies and objectives that are critical in fostering real, transformative change in the climate, culture, curriculum, leadership, personnel and student/alumnae experiences. The committee is comprised of students, alumnae, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, members of the SJA Board of Directors and Sisters of St. Joseph.
September 1-4, 2020: Dr. Albert spent the first week of September in Baton Rouge, meeting with the Executive Committee of the SJA Board of Directors, the faculty and staff and the Diversity Action Committee. She outlined the work which would take place over the coming year as the Academy works to enhance its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
September 18, 2020: Dr. Albert presented the scope of the work ahead to the SJA Board of Directors at its start-of-the-school-year retreat.
September 29-October 1, 2020: Over the course of two evenings, Dr. Albert and trained local facilitators hosted focus group discussions on SJA’s campus. In accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, the 160 alumnae, parents, friends, students and faculty/staff were divided into small groups to allow for social distancing. On a third evening, out-of-town individuals or those unable to come to campus met virtually. Focus group participants shared their lived experiences and concerns and made recommendations for creating common ground and a path toward greater inclusion.
October 21, 2020: Dr. Albert met with faculty and staff to discuss the Student Cultural Intelligence Leadership Training Experience and Becoming a Standard Bearer of Brave Conversations.
October 21, 2020: Dr. Albert hosted student summits on Cultural Intelligence Leadership Training for the junior and senior classes.
October 26, 2020: Dr. Albert hosted a meeting with Black students and a meeting with Black parents. Meetings with other minority groups will be scheduled moving forward.
December 15, 2020: Dr. Albert met with the Board of Directors for focus group analysis.
December 16, 2020: The Diversity Action Committee met to discuss focus group findings, understand what was learned, evaluate what has been accomplished to date and identify potential components of the vision/desired outcomes for inclusive excellence.
February 3, 2021: Diversity Action Committee meeting
March 18, 2021: Diversity Action Committee meeting
April 28, 2021: Diversity Action Committee meeting
Spring 2021: To ensure that St. Joseph's Academy will continue to be guided by its mission, commitment to institutional excellence and a keen eye to the formational and educational needs of young women, a new strategic plan has been crafted that will shape the Academy's work for the next three to five years. Focus groups were convened to further explore specific elements of the Academy experience, including faith development, academic excellence, personal growth, behavioral health, financial sustainability, facilities, campus life, tuition, enrollment and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Seven working committees were formed to devise strategies, objectives and action items across six areas of focus. Areas of need identified by the Diversity Action Committee have been incorporated into the strategic initiatives of several committees. All work will be undertaken through the lens of our Catholic identity, gospel values, theological principles and the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.