“Never speak with contempt of any nation, profession, or class of people.” – Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy
The Saint Joseph’s College community commits itself to nurturing highly competent and deeply compassionate leaders ready to serve in a vulnerable world. We recognize that our diverse perspectives are shaped by religion, nationality, experience, culture, status, and more. In order to confront the historical persistence of discrimination and oppression based on race, gender, class, abilities, and other differences, we embrace diversity and actively promote a culture of inclusiveness and equitability as vital expressions of our Core Values, the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, and Catholic Social Teaching.
Our Core Values
The mission of Saint Joseph’s College calls us to make our core values visible in our daily interactions with one another. These values include integrity which requires a concern for the common good, a commitment to a community that embraces radical hospitality and inclusive relationships, respect for each member of our community, compassion and mercy for those who are marginalized, and addressing injustices within and outside of our community.
Our Mercy Heritage
As an institution founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Joseph’s College shares in their mission to “see Jesus in the most marginalized people and take a vow of service to perform works of Mercy that alleviate suffering.” Drawing upon their long standing concern for justice and service to the poor, the Sisters of Mercy have articulated critical concerns which guide Saint Joseph’s College’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are the earth, immigration, non-violence, racism, and women.
Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic social teaching “is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society.” The foundation of this body of teaching is that all persons are imprinted with God’s image which confers upon them “an incomparable dignity” (Centesimus Annus, #11). As such, this dignity is to be respected and protected without condition. A culture that welcomes diverse perspectives requires an “awareness of each individual’s dignity and of the unity of all people in a common humanity, with the aim of sharing and building up together a common destiny” (Congregation for Catholic Education).
Definitions of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Justice
Individual and group/social differences, including knowledge; life experience; age; ethnicity; gender identity; country of origin; race; religion; sexual orientation; socio-economic status; education; and more.
The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented and marginalized populations to take advantage of equal access or equal opportunities to academic experiences, co-curricular activities, campus employment, and community-based programs, and actively challenge and respond to discrimination, harassment, and bias.
The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity — curricular, co-curricular, and community-based — in ways that increase awareness, knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.
The commitment to “respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good.” In particular, justice has as its goal solidarity with the marginalized and the dedication to examine and address oppressive social structures. True justice is based on love which manifests itself as mercy that seeks restoration where there has been brokenness and injustice.
* Sources: Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1807