As a school community, we are deeply saddened by the recent events that have taken place in our country. As a Catholic and Salvatorian school, we know and stand for the importance of human life and the dignity of all people. As an educational institution we strive to help our students and staff understand issues of racism, social justice, and mercy. The combination of faith and education is intended to help us take action and do our part to improve the quality of life for all people.
DSHA denounces all forms of racism and brutality. We stand for loving our neighbors; for the human dignity of all; reaching out to those in need; and for eliminating systemic racism and other forms of injustice. Specifically, we pray for the repose of the souls of our brothers and sisters, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Joel Acevedo, among others who fell victim to brutality of injustice.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Who are we?
We are DSHA, a place that is special because we are diverse – bringing students together from around a city that is among often regarded as one the most segregated in our country.1We are one body in Christ and we stand together in solidarity with all members of the DSHA community. Thirty-percent of our student body is comprised of young women of color. 29% of our student body resides within the city of Milwaukee; the remaining 71% live in the surrounding suburban communities stretching from Racine to Port Washington to West Bend to Muskego.
What do we believe?
We believe in taking an active approach to educating young women of faith, heart, and intellect and this includes taking on difficult and uncomfortable topics. We believe in the power of sisterhood. Students wrestle with issues of race and ethnicity in courses like Catholic Morality and Catholic Social Teaching, as well as in our social studies and English classes. We have made deliberate efforts on the topic ofdiversity and inclusion, including increasing opportunities to improve intercultural competence in an increasingly diverse, complex, and global society. Pointing to these efforts does not suggest we’ve done enough, but rather connects current events with the why behind DSHA’s institutional efforts. We have more work to do.
It is important to understand the social/emotional and mental health needs of our students during these times of trauma. In an effort to support our students immediately as they process all of the recent events, the following services are available:
Administrators are available for students who need to process through their emotions and questions (see links below).
Aurora Student and Family Assistance Program (SFAP), which provides valuable services to help address some of the challenges students and families experience. These services are free and confidentialto all Divine Savior Holy Angels students and their immediate families. Click here for additional details about the SFAP program. To access SFAP services, call 800-236-3231.
A virtual Dasher Dialogue is being planned by and for students; details are forthcoming.
Student and Community Education
For those looking to learn more about matters of systematic racism, the following are just a few of many resources to consider:
Just Mercy. On May 18th we announced that our summer read is the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. The book was turned into a movie and the official trailer can be foundhere.
In closing, let us pray together for our DSHA community, our city of Milwaukee, our country, and the world at large, a prayer for racial healing from Catholic Charities USA:
God of justice, In your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors, and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination, and their passionate appeals for change. Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.