Schoolwide workshops inspire students to build community and promote inclusivity

Upper+School+students+participate+in+student-led+activities+during+a+workshop+surrounding+the+theme+of+%22Who+Is+My+Neighbor.%22

Kelly Haggerty '23

Upper School students participate in student-led activities during a workshop surrounding the theme of “Who Is My Neighbor.”

The theme of acting as a good neighbor has become the focus of daily life at Sacred Heart Greenwich, starting January 17 after a schoolwide discussion of the corporal works of mercy.  The Upper School has engaged in activities helping students and teachers carry out Goal Four of the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria, “the building of community as a Christian value.”

Seniors Destini-Joy (DJ) Green, Izzy DeVita, Mary O’Connor, Michala Rogers, and Morgan Wilkens, and juniors Isabella Stewart and Kayla Malcolm-Joseph acted as student facilitators and led the discussions, helping to direct the topic of the conversation and giving students the opportunity to voice their insights and opinions.  The conversation revolved around how students’ words, actions, and silence have an impact on those around them, especially in the Sacred Heart community.

Students gather in small groups to discuss inclusivity at Sacred Heart.  Kelly Haggerty ’23

Upper School students engaged in further discourse surrounding the February 10 Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) prayer service theme, “Who Is My Neighbor.”  In the weeks prior to the prayer service, students participated in group discussions centered around the corporal works of mercy.  Students then applied what they had learned throughout the previous two weeks, including the theme of inclusiveness, during the activity.

As a part of the MLK prayer service, students and faculty members discussed who they believe their neighbors are.  This dialogue helped to remind students about the importance of the ongoing topic of being a good neighbor at Sacred Heart.

In preparation for the discussion February 10, Mrs. Kerry Bader, Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service and Senior Seminar Service and Theology Teacher, explained the main topics that guided the conversation.  This included how to be a welcoming neighbor at Sacred Heart.

Notecards displaying the theme of “Who Is My Neighbor” line the wall next to the Sacred Heart chapel.  Kelly Haggerty ’23

On February 10th, students will take what they learned the previous two weeks and discuss the obstacles and opportunities to being a neighbor at Sacred Heart,” Mrs. Bader said.  “Discussions may include how to be a neighbor to people in other grades, who play other sports, who take different classes, who are of a different race or cultural background, who practice a different religion.”

The purpose of these discussions is to highlight topics that require the attention of the Sacred Heart community.  As student body president, Morgan gave her insight on how the conversations help to educate Sacred Heart students, as well as encourage them to carry out Goal Four.

“These conversations provided a strong basis for diversity and inclusivity discussions that will continue throughout the year and deepened our understanding of our responsibility in enacting the ‘building of community as a Christian value,’ as stated in Goal 4,” Morgan said.  “The objective of having these discussions is to expose and ultimately expel implicit bias, which will provide for an even more tight-knit, empathetic, and socially and emotionally intelligent community.”

Featured Image by Kelly Haggerty ’23