Father Ryan High School is committed to fostering an environment where every student is known and loved, and where Black students and other students of color have a genuine feeling of belonging. Our humanity and Catholic social teaching demand that each of us work for the dignity of every human being as a child of God and a part of this world community.
Given the current events in our society, we have decided to enter into a thoughtful and prayerful process, grounded in our Strategic Plan, to determine the ways we have created this inclusive environment on our campus and how we can improve it.
Our goals are:
To identify effective and sustainable actions that Father Ryan High School will take to make our environment more inclusive and with a greater feeling of belonging for Black students and other students of color.
To identify effective and sustainable actions that Father Ryan High School will take to help prevent racism on our campus.
Communicating our Progress
We will use this webpage to communicate progress and other information.
Recent events have demonstrated yet again how this nation’s long legacy of racism perpetuates a system that diminishes and even destroys the lives of Black people and other people of color. These events have brought a renewed focus to the role we all must play in confronting racism. Our humanity and Catholic social teaching demand that each of us work for the dignity of every human being as a child of God and a part of this world community.
We are in the process of implementing our strategic plan, adopted last year, and its particular initiatives of enhanced inclusiveness and a deeper student experience. Our community recognizes that we need to look at our school and ourselves to make sure we demonstrate an inclusive environment for Black students and other students of color. The Father Ryan community, in collaboration with the Diocese of Nashville and its leadership, is committed to doing the work necessary to make this initiative a reality.
To help guide us as we move forward, we have partnered with Derek Young, president of YMG Enterprises, LLC, a respected and experienced Nashville-based diversity and inclusivity consultant. With his help, we have begun to identify a process for our work that begins with listening to representatives of our community. We will communicate specific information on this process and its steps in the next few weeks.
All of this is happening as we determine how to reopen our school in the midst of a pandemic. As we work towards reopening in this time of uncertainty, the leadership team will also continue to address the issues facing our nation and our school. Our goal is to create effective and lasting solutions - ones that emerge from an informed and thoughtful process, ones that will help prevent racism on our campus.
This past week has brought another painful reminder of the injustice faced by so many in our communities, and the anger, fear and heartache they feel every day. We join our Bishop Mark Spalding and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, in their messages of hope during these difficult times.
The senseless and preventable deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others awaken us to our responsibilities as Christians, as educators, as citizens, as human beings. Just as Christ calls us, Father Ryan is deeply committed to a culture of inclusion, justice and equality for all, with no place for racism in any form.
Throughout our history, Father Ryan has taken on the challenges that social justice demands, with Catholic social teaching as our guide. Today, we embrace our legacy of social justice and stand in solidarity with our global neighbors in calling for true reconciliation and meaningful change. We offer our most heartfelt prayers to all the victims of prejudicial violence and racial bias. We recommit to educating our students and our community to encourage a peaceful and unrelenting resolve to challenge systemic injustices in our world.
As we work to form lives of excellence in the world today, we draw again on Christ’s message of love and acceptance and pray for His grace on all.
“God of peace, justice and love, fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Jim McIntyre Paul Davis '81
The schedule for this important process coincides with the school's planning for the 2020-2021 school year in light of the continuing pandemic. This may affect the timing of certain steps. We appreciate your patience.
Step 1 – Listen and Understand
Step 2 – Prioritize the Feedback and Identify Action Steps
This step is designed to provide members of the Father Ryan community (students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and others) the opportunity to provide feedback on how best to achieve the stated goals. We will do this in these two ways.
A survey was available through July 31 for constituents to provide insights, experiences, and feedback.
Constituent representatives will be invited to be part of in-person focus groups.
In cooperation with the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville, Father Ryan's leadership will assemble a group of people from the school's constituencies. This group will review and recommend specific action steps that the school can implement to achieve the goal of a more inclusive environment, with a greater feeling of belonging for Black students and other students of color.
The action steps identified will be adopted and incorporated into the school’s current Strategic Plan. These steps will be monitored by the school leadership, with progress reported on a regular basis to the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville and the Board of Trustees of Father Ryan High School.