Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Benilde-St. Margaret’s is committed to fostering a genuine sense of belonging for all our students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or ability. 

We use the following approaches to build an inclusive environment with the goal that every student feels seen, heard, and valued.

Please contact Director of Mission Lisa Lenhart-Murphy at LLenhart@bsmschool.org or 952-767-1141 to learn more. 

2020-21 Organizational Assessment and Action Plan

In August 2020, BSM hired Kendra Dodd – a consultant who specializes in helping organizations evaluate their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts – to assess our organizational approach to DEI. 

The assessment – which will include input from students, parents, faculty/staff, and alumni – will evaluate current:

  • Administrative policies and practices
  • Employee, volunteer, and student recruitment techniques
  • Inclusion strategies
  • Curricular offerings for students, parents, faculty, and staff

Following the review, BSM will create a multi-year plan that features specific strategies to bolster inclusion efforts; improve recruiting and onboarding techniques; develop parent, student, and employee educational training; and enhance employee coaching and accountability. 

Visit bsmschool.org/DEIaction to learn more about the assessment and to stay up-to-date on our progress.

Our Five-Year Strategic Plan

In 2019, BSM’s Board of Directors adopted a five-year strategic plan that establishes a formal vision for BSM’s student body that reflects racial, economic, and academic diversity. This plan will guide the school’s operational and policy decisions going forward.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion School Board Committee

In July 2020, BSM’s Board of Directors created a new committee to oversee efforts toward creating a more diverse school community in line with the goals of our 2020-2025 strategic plan. Co-chaired by BSM Board Members Charles Scott and Nadia Martyn, this committee will serve an important oversight and governance role for the school's diversity efforts, and provide regular updates to the Board of Directors. Though still in the formation stage, committee membership will eventually include board members, parents, school personnel, and alumni.

Regular Faculty and Staff Trainings 

Faculty and staff are required to participate in regular professional development to enhance cultural understanding. Trainings include topics such as:

  • Culturally Responsive Teacher
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Safe Classroom and Civil Discourse Skills
  • Courageous Conversations
  • Catholic Social Teaching    
  • Servant Leadership
  • Lasallian Teaching Principles
  • Listening to Student Voice
  • Interrupting Student Bias in the Classroom
Junior and Senior High Affinity Groups

In 2016, BSM formed several affinity groups to help build community among students of color and to provide a comfortable space for honest dialogue and academic, social, and emotional support. Each group meets weekly. 

Parent Affinity Groups

Parent affinity groups meet quarterly to stay connected to DEI efforts within our community.

Student Advocate Program

Student advocates oversee Senior and Junior High Affinity Group meetings, provide support for first-generation college-bound students, and host quarterly Parent Affinity Group meetings.

Diverse Learner Support and Training

Our teachers are equipped to ensure students with diverse learning needs receive the support they need to reach their fullest potential. To that end, we offer a student mentoring program, parent support group, assistive technology, and a team of learning specialists. 

The Christian Response to Racism

“We cannot be a church that is true to the demands of the Gospel if we do not act justly, if we do not act to root out racism in the structures of our society and our church. And we cannot achieve personal holiness if we do not love tenderly, if we do not love and respect all human beings, regardless of their race, language, or ethnic heritage.”

-    Archbishop Harry J. Flynn

View the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis’ website to learn more about the Church’s response to racism. Find prayers, statements, ways to get involved and more.