Dear Friends, 

You are called to a life of constant searching. Let the developments and changes of your times be a source of both confidence and challenge to you.

These words are written in the Fundamental Principles of the Xaverian Brothers. They speak to us today as we consider the developments and changes of these times, which, while unsettling, present an opportunity for us to grow as individuals, as a school, and as a nation. The call for racial justice is a powerful force in our country right now, and it is our sincere hope that this is finally the time that equity and inclusion become our national reality, and that Xaverian, too, is able to grow as a school and a community to provide a better experience for Black students and students of color. Though we are not naive to the challenges in our midst, we are confident that with our commitment to our mission we will succeed in helping to shape an even stronger Xaverian.

We continue to believe in the importance of open and honest communication and seek to build on messages shared with you earlier this spring and summer. As such, we have undertaken to provide a comprehensive resource on our commitment to grow with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here you will find a detailed account of our efforts to date to improve the experience of Black students and students of color. 

Since our founding in 1963, we have believed that every member of our community is “created by the God of love in God's image and according to God's likeness, to be a unique expression of that love,” and this belief has guided our work and the work of those who came before us. With this conviction, we continue to celebrate the dignity and worth of every student here. And with humility in our hearts and a fervent zeal for this important work, we strive forward down a path toward a brighter and more just future.

Respectfully yours, 

Jacob A. Conca ’94
Head of School



Reporting


In order to formally report a specific experience of racism at Xaverian (or a similar indignity), please email
feedback@xbhs.com. We ask that you describe the experience (names, dates, description of the incident(s), witness(es) (if any), and provide your contact information, so that we can appropriately respond. We take any report of racist acts or comments seriously and we will follow up accordingly. 
 
Inherent to the mission of Xaverian Brothers High School is the belief that all people are imbued with undeniable worth and dignity, having been created in the image and likeness of God.

This belief is one of our guiding principles as we undertake efforts at Xaverian to grow with regard to diversity, inclusion, and equity for Black students, students of color, and other underrepresented populations at Xaverian. This goal was given priority by our internal school community through our 2019 New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Self Study. As a result, January of 2020 marked the formal launch of Xaverian’s new faculty and staff Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

What follows is a breakdown of the committee’s work and the overall efforts of the Xaverian community, broken down by what has been accomplished, efforts currently underway, and plans and considerations for the future. This information was last updated on September 28, 2020. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts at Xaverian

List of 3 items.

  • What has recently occurred?


    NEASC
    In the 2018-2019 school year, Xaverian underwent a rigorous self-study process, involving all stakeholders in our community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents, alumni, and the Board of Trustees, as part of the school’s 10-year New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) reaccreditation process. Despite passing the re-accreditation at the highest level for each of the 13 standards of assessment, the Xaverian community identified that there is work to be done with regard to diversity and inclusion. As a result, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed. 

    DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE ESTABLISHMENT
    This committee began its work in February 2020, with 30 members of the faculty and staff volunteering their service. The members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee are committed to educating themselves and our community about systems of power and privilege, and celebrating the diversity that exists in the Xaverian community, ensuring that student identities are heard, represented, celebrated and respected. Their work is grounded in the Xaverian mission and our Catholic identity, with the goal of equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to be promoters of justice and peace within a multicultural world of many, diverse perspectives. 

    There are five Diversity and Inclusion sub-committees:
    -
    Student Experience
    -Professional Development
    -Mission, Identity, and Vision
    -Recruitment and Retention
    -Curriculum Review

    A STATEMENT ON RACIAL JUSTICE
    In the wake of the George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, on June 2, 2020, Head of School Dr. Jacob Conca ’94 and Principal Mr. Michael Nicholson released a statement on racial justice to the school community, entitled “Who Is My Neighbor?”.

    FACULTY AND STAFF SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS
    The Diversity and Inclusion Committee recognized the need to provide for support and discussion among faculty and staff with regard to racial tensions surrounding the deaths of Mr. George Floyd, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, Ms. Breonna Taylor, and countless others. As such, during the week of June 8, 31 faculty and staff members met in small groups, each with two members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee as facilitators, to help process the social unrest, the need for racial justice, and to begin thinking about how we can help build a more just, fair, and equitable society though our work as educators. 

    OUTREACH TO STUDENTS OF COLOR
    Members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee personally reached out to all currently enrolled Black students to support them as the news of George Floyd’s murder spread across the country and inspired renewed commitment to racial justice. Our message was one of support and care. Additionally, we extended open invitations to students of color for facilitated Zoom discussions regarding their Xaverian experiences.

    PRAYER SERVICE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
    Seeking to take action that demonstrates their support for racial equality and social justice, senior members of Xaverian’s student council reached out to the administration to request a prayer service. As a result of their proactive initiative, on Thursday, June 18, all members of the Xaverian community were invited by Head of School Dr. Jacob Conca ’94 and Principal Mr. Michael Nicholson to raise their voices in prayer via an online prayer service assembled by representatives of the student council and members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Included in the prayer service invitation was a link to an update on diversity and inclusion efforts at Xaverian.

    ALUMNI SURVEY
    In conjunction with the prayer service invitation sent on June 18, all Xaverian alumni were invited to complete a survey about their experience as students. The invitation read: 

    As an alumnus of Xaverian Brothers High School, we need your help in our ongoing efforts to strengthen Xaverian with regard to diversity and inclusion. With an awareness of the current dialogue surrounding race in America, in particular at schools, universities, other private institutions, and frankly every sector of our society, we know that we are not immune to these concerns here at Xaverian. We hope you will complete this survey as we seek to learn more about the day-to-day experiences of our students, particularly the experiences of our Black students and students of color. Whether you are speaking from personal experience or as a witness to someone else’s experience, we believe each of you have important information and perspectives to share. We have already been in touch with our current students of color, but we are hoping that you as alumni will take time to offer your valuable perspectives as well. Your responses to this survey will help us in our work to ensure a fair, just, and equitable community for all. 

    The initial closing date for the survey was June 28. That date was extended by the school in response to the outside creation of the @Black_at_XBHS Instagram account. As of July 16, 73 alumni responded to the survey. 

    @Black_at_XBHS INSTAGRAM
    On June 27, an Instagram forum was anonymously founded for alumni and students to discuss their experiences as Black or persons of color at Xaverian. This is not a Xaverian Brothers High School account. However, Xaverian’s administration responded within 24 hours via comment on the page and direct message to its founder, noting that as a result of the page, the school would extend the alumni survey deadline to allow continued opportunity for alumni to submit feedback to Xaverian. Additionally, it was noted that the school would monitor the account for information relating to the student experience at Xaverian. The message read:

    We hear you, and we are so sorry that these were your experiences at Xaverian. We know that we cannot grow without understanding the reality of the Black and POC student experience at our school. We are taking note of everything posted here and adding it to the results of our survey (emailed on June 18), because we want your voice in the discussion. If you did not yet have the opportunity to complete the survey (which can be done anonymously) and would like to do so, please check your inbox for the June 18 email. We will keep it open beyond the original closing date of June 28 to allow for your submissions. If you need a link, please email communications@xbhs.com and we will send one to you.

    We're listening.

    ALUMNI CONVERSATIONS
    On Friday, July 3, 2020, Head of School Dr. Jacob Conca ’94, Principal Mr. Michael Nicholson, Director of Theology Mr. David Palmieri ’97, and Assistant Director of Admissions Mr. Anif McDonald ’12, invited several Black alumni from the Classes of 2018 and 2019 to meet and discuss their recent experiences at Xaverian. Several of the invited alumni had previously posted commentary to the @Black_at_XBHS Instagram account. What transpired was nearly three hours of collaborative conversation rooted in lived experiences, idea sharing, and a genuine interest by all in attendance to help Xaverian become stronger in terms of the lived Black experience. We intend to hold additional meetings with these alumni, as we chart our path forward together.

    CRITICAL CONVERSATION SERIES
    During the summer of 2020, members of the Diversity and Inclusion committee hosted “Critical Conversations” for faculty, staff, and administrators. The five discussion topics included race and media, becoming “color brave” rather than “color blind,” gender equity and justice, bias and identity, and understanding the Black student experience. 

    X-REPRESENTED LAUNCHES
    The new school year began with the launch of a new club on campus, X-Represented, co-moderated by Mr. Anif McDonald '12 and Mr. TJ Manning '09. Through small group conversation, guided discussions, and personal experiences, this group will provide a forum where all students can learn about and understand the contributions of Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color to society, and how they as students can share what they have learned and make positive contributions themselves. Additionally, X-Represented provides an opportunity for students to discuss their own experience at Xaverian.

    Over time, the hope is that this group will help coordinate learning sessions for the Xaverian community. These sessions will be geared toward students, faculty, staff, administration, and parents. Sessions might include outside speakers, workshops, and events celebrating and promoting cultural awareness. 
  • What is presently underway?


    MISSION
    The Vision, Identity, and Mission subcommittee has completed their first draft of the "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission Statement" for Xaverian. Once formally adopted, this document will be shared with the whole community and serve as a guiding vision for the committee's work moving forward.

    TRAINING
    The Diversity and Inclusion Committee has scheduled a training for 18 members of the Xaverian faculty and staff with Community Change Inc. This training will focus on developing common language and understanding of systemic racism. Moving forward, this common lens will be used to sustain our efforts in the work to make Xavierian a more equitable community.

    RECOMMENDATIONS
    The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is finalizing their research to provide recommendations in a report that the committee aims to issued by the end of the calendar year. These recommendations will be shared with administration, the Xaverian Leadership Council, and our Board of Trustees. This report is only the first step in a long-term, sustained effort to improve the school community with regard to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
     
    OTHER ITEMS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY
    -Reviewing professional development opportunities and training for members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to gain a common language and systemic lens on race
    -Establishing a regular meeting of faculty to discuss issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Special attention is paid to the role of individuals and systems vis-à-vis the experience of the Xaverian student.
    -Completing a curricular audit with regard to multiculturalism, diversity, equity, and inclusion
    -Developing and establishing measurable goals, timelines, and action steps to continue our current momentum well into the future 
  • What are future plans and considerations?


    We realize that the work we are describing is arduous, time-consuming, and at times uncomfortable, but nonetheless, this work is necessary. So, as we look to the future, we will keep the following items at the forefront of our work:

    -Our mission statement: In everything we do, Xaverian remains firmly committed to our Xaverian and Catholic mission. This mission flows directly from the Gospel values as exemplified in Jesus’ unconditional love and respect for all humankind, no matter what the circumstances. Our mission will remain at the forefront of our efforts. 
    -The need for constant learning: As educators, we believe very deeply in the necessity of continued learning and development. We are committed to ensuring that all segments of the Xaverian community (students, parents, faculty, staff, administration, etc.) are provided with opportunities to learn, grow, and develop with regard to understanding Black America, persons of color, and the role we all play in providing a more just, fair and equitable society, both here at Xaverian and also in the community at large.
    -
    Reviewing (and where necessary, correcting) all aspects of Xaverian: Whether it is our handbooks, our curriculum, our extracurricular activities, our hiring practices, our admissions policies, or other items, we are committed to ensuring that all processes are carried out in a manner that is respectful, just, fair, and equitable for all individuals who interact with Xaverian.
    -Program Development: We understand that to achieve our stated goals, we will likely have to implement additional programs and initiatives. We are committed to engaging in an honest self-reflection of our community in order to identify and develop those programs that will allow us to continue to do our part in creating a better society for all citizens, especially those who have been marginalized by societal structures for far too long.
A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.