2020-21 DEI Action Plan

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

To that end, throughout the 2020-21 school year and in line with the goals of our strategic plan, BSM will be working closely with DEI Consultant Kendra Dodd to assess and improve our organizational approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

Whenever possible, immediate action will be taken to improve inclusion strategies. Following the review, BSM will create a multi-year plan to ensure DEI strategies become part of our everyday approach to building meaningful community.

Stay tuned to this page for regular updates on our progress. Please reach out to Director of Mission Lisa Lenhart-Murphy at 952-767-1141 to learn more.

Visit bsmschool.org/DEI to find an overview of BSM’s ongoing DEI programs and initiatives. 

General Assessment Timeline

August-November 2020

- Research and immediate implementation

December 2020-February 2021

- Long-term plan development

March 2021 and Ongoing:

- Long-term plan implementation

August 2020: Research and Training

- Students were invited to participate in special focus groups to discuss ways that BSM can cultivate an environment where all students feel a genuine sense of belonging.

- Faculty and staff attended professional development workshops to gain insight into the role they each play in developing an inclusive atmosphere.

- Seventh grade students received respectful dialogue instruction.

- School leadership began identifying strategies to attract and retain a more diverse faculty/staff. 

September 2020: Focus Groups and Training Continue

- BSM’s Board of Directors held a special meeting with the consultant to discuss the school’s approach to DEI.

- Students were invited to participate in special focus groups to discuss ways that BSM can cultivate an environment where all students feel a genuine sense of belonging.

- Student leaders (athletic team captains, student council leadership, affinity group leaders, club leaders, etc.) met to discuss their BSM experience and offer thoughts on the school’s DEI efforts.

- Faculty and staff attended a special workshop to discuss unconscious bias and identify practical strategies to promote inclusive dialogue in the classroom.

- A cohort of faculty and staff members committed to participating in a year-long program focused on anti-racist teaching strategies. The program begins Oct. 12.

- Students held an informational meeting for a new club, Red Knights for Human Rights, that will meet regularly to identify ways for students to get involved in social justice issues.

October 2020: Community Action

- A new Board of Directors sub-committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion held its first meeting. Co-chaired by BSM Board Members Charles Scott and Nadia Martyn, the committee also includes parents, school personnel, and alumni. 

- Parents of students of color participated in a virtual meet-and-greet with the consultant.  

- Ninth grade students received respectful dialogue instruction. 

- Initial steps were taken to establish a student-teaching partnership with an area college that will help diversify BSM faculty.

- Current parents will be invited to take a survey aimed at helping BSM create a culture of belonging and inclusion. 

- Faculty and staff will attend DEI training focused on the use of respectful dialogue in the classroom. BSM’s Board of Directors will also attend a DEI training session.

November 2020: Town Hall Meetings

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, more than 120 parents and guardians attended a town hall event to hear from school leadership and participate in a discussion to help build a more inclusive and welcoming environment at BSM.

Approximately 80 alumni participated in a simliar town hall event Monday, Nov. 16.


December 2020: New Student Groups

Students were invited to join a number of new groups to foster two-way dialogue between students and administration:

- A new junior high advisory council encourages students to discuss issues close to their heart, including DEI. Students volunteer to serve on the group, which meets regularly with faculty advisors and the junior high principal.   

- A new Equity at BSM group meets regularly in the junior high to discuss a variety of topics related to the day-to-day experience at school. 

- In January, students in grades 9-12 had a chance to participate in a new Senior High Principals Student Advisory Group. This group will meet directly with the senior high principal and assistant prinicpals on a regular basis to discuss topics related to school culture. 

January 2021: Parent Survey

All current parents were invited to participate in a survey designed to help school leadership gain a better understanding of how best to support BSM students.

February 2021: Assessment Complete

The DEI consultant officially completed the organizational assessment and provided recommendations to guide BSM's approach to this important work. Stay tuned to bsmschool.org/DEI for more information as a formal long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion plan is finalized.