Diversity and Inclusion

Ursuline Academy fosters community and an atmosphere of mutual respect by enhancing understanding and cooperation among all Ursuline students regarding different cultures, ethnicities, learning styles, opinions, religious traditions, sexual orientation, and socio-economic backgrounds. We believe that diversity brings richness and meaning to life and that exposure to a broad range of talents, perspectives, and experiences better prepares the young women of Ursuline Academy for full participation in our school, local community, and global community.

Student Clubs

Consistent with the Ursuline charism that values the uniqueness of each person, we welcome and embrace diversity and seek to build community. Ursuline Academy offers six student-initiated inclusion clubs. Club participation is open to all Ursuline students. By participating in student clubs, students prepare for leadership in and beyond Ursuline. They  focus on building community, fostering respect, and gaining understanding. Club co-leaders meet once per week (mod cycle) with their staff/faculty moderators to prepare for their monthly club meetings. Clubs hold engaging events, host guest speakers, create educational banners and materials, promote related books and library resources, organize field trips, hold contests, and more. Unless otherwise noted, the inclusion clubs are moderated by the Director of Inclusion and Community.

Asian Pacific American Student Union  

Asian Pacific American Student Union (APASU) is an organization intended to aid both Asian American and Pacific Islander students and their peers in embracing Asian identities. APASU fosters awareness of the many cultures that exist in the Ursuline community and creates a space in which all students can learn about the experiences of their peers. 

Black Student Union  

Black Student Union (BSU) is a welcoming experience for students to learn about Black culture and African American experiences. BSU explores past and current issues involving the Black community through dialogue in a relaxed atmosphere. Students learn tools for advocacy and work to benefit Black communities. BSU helps students to grow in their openness to diversity and to become more comfortable with challenging but critical conversations. This club meets once a month. 

Bring Change to Mind (Ursuline’s Mental Health Student Initiative)  

The goal of this student initiative is to open the conversation and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. The BC2M leadership team works to plan programming for the whole school community to promote wellness and balance in all aspects of student life. (Moderator: Ms. LaForge, Counseling Department Member & Dr. Purple, Counseling Department Member) 

Hands in Harmony (Ursuline's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Student Initiative)  

Hands in Harmony is a student initiative working to deepen the development and education of our diverse Ursuline community. We focus on celebrating the cultural heritage and identities of underrepresented groups, while striving to further unify our school. Sophomores, juniors and seniors can apply to be leaders of this initiative. We encourage Ursuline students to attend the activities and events planned by initiative student leaders. 

Hispanic Student Union (Hispanos y Latinos Unidos)

Hispanos y Latinos Unidos (Hispanics and Latinos United) is a student organization that aims to educate and inform Ursuline students about the unique culture of Latin America and Spain through various activities, discussions, and fundraisers. We also aim to address the challenges Hispanics face in the USA and in our home countries in a safe and welcoming environment. 

Spectrum  

The purpose of Spectrum is to educate, engage, and enrich its members, and the wider school community on the important topics related to gender and identity, with respect to the teachings of the Catholic Church. All are welcome to attend. The club meets at least once a month. (Moderators: Ms. Vorholt, Counseling Department and Mr. Gerhardt, Social Studies Faculty Member)  

Global Communication Clubs and Societies 

 To advance global understanding and communication, Ursuline Academy hosts Model UN. Model UN is a student-initiated club that builds communication and diplomacy skills regarding international relations and real world events. We simulate the work of the United Nations General Assembly through a variety of prompts and scenarios. (Moderator: Ms. Sang, Social Studies Faculty Member)  

Ursuline Academy also offers the following student-initiated language clubs to promote culture, increase awareness, and encourage dialogue: French Club, German Club, Latin Club, and Spanish Club. Students with a high cumulative average in a language could be considered for membership in the following language honor societies: French Honor Society, German Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society.  

Annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)  

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), of which Ursuline is a member, has hosted the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) for more than 25 years. The purpose of SDLC and the joint adult People of Color Conference is to build inclusive and equitable cultures in independent schools. SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9-12) from across the U.S. and abroad. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators, participating students develop cross-cultural communication skills, design effective strategies for social justice practice through dialogue and the arts, and learn the foundations of allyship and networking principles. Five students were selected to represent Ursuline at the 2022 SDLC in San Antonio, Texas. The students met weekly throughout the academic year and have been presenting their findings and recommendations to Ursuline faculty. SDLC is based on a lottery system, and Ursuline has been selected several times. We hope to be selected each year! Learn more at: https://pocc.nais.org/About/Student-Diversity-Leadership-Conference#  
 

Dr. Elizabeth Siwo

Director of Inclusion and Community

  • B.A., Denison University
  • African Studies Graduate Certificate, Boston University
  • MDiv, Boston University
  • M.Th, Harvard University
  • Ph.D, Boston University

513-791-5791 ext. 2226