Valuing Diversity at St. X
At St. X we are committed to valuing Diversity in our students, administration, faculty and staff by respecting and celebrating their unique backgrounds, experiences and perspectives which will ultimately shape the inclusive environment that will make us better. We embrace it as a core value and continuously seek ways to learn, grow and transform. Treating everyone with dignity and respect is most important to our leadership, to each other and, to our students and families.
The graduating class of 2020 was St. X's most diverse class in school history. Of the 22 graduation award winners, 50% were multicultural (7 Asian, 2 African American and 2 Hispanic).
6.50% African American
In 2012 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first African American students at St. Xavier, we produced this documentary, "X-Changes. 50 Years of Racial Diversity.”
The school wanted to tell the compelling story of the challenges those first student pioneers met during the early 1960's. Bright Light Visual Communication created the documentary. Bright Light's Executive Producer/Director and St. X alum, Ryan C. Spalazzi ('95) spent two days capturing on camera interviews with former students and faculty and one day of shooting B-Roll at the school. "Giving back is one thing, but having the opportunity to sit down with fascinating individuals and being able to dig deep into emotions that were felt over 50 years ago was a moving experience," Spalazzi said.
Bright Light's David Allison edited the visuals into a moving and motivational documentary celebrating the pioneers who laid the foundation to make St. X the school that it is today. Then St. Xavier President, Fr. Timothy Howe, S.J. observed that "a story this good will go a long way toward showing our most important benefactors the good work their gifts are doing for the school and may well compel some of them to help even more." The Telly Awards named Bright Light Visual Communications as a Bronze winner in the 33rd Annual Telly Awards for the documentary.
Juneteenth is A Holiday Commemorating the End of Slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.” Juneteenth is now a National Holiday, and this year will be recognized this year, Monday June 20th.
St. X Celebrates Asia Pacific American Heritage Month 2022!
How it started. In June 1978, Rep. Frank Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 (PDF, 285kb) which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
ST. X Continues Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! When I first arrived at St. X three years ago, one of our Filipino students wanted to know why there wasn’t a celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. I promised him we would change that and then the pandemic hit. Despite that, we celebrated Asian and Pacific American cultures, with the help of our Parents Across Cultures (PAC) that included personal videos from our students and their families that circulated throughout our network to share insights to their respective cultures, and their distinctions. The promise was fulfilled, and it was very enlightening for so many of us! Our celebration of the Asian Pacific American cultures is now an annual one with intentional recognition, sharing documentaries of their plight in America, highlighting notable St. X AAPI graduates and the continuation of messaging, signage, and displays. This year in collaboration with Hands Across Campus (Our student run diversity group), World Language Department and Spirit Store, we designed the first ever St. X branded AAPI T-shirt and was prominently positioned it in our Spirit Store. it is now part of our spirit wear ensemble for students as well as faculty, staff, and administration. We are honored to celebrate all cultures and communities at St. X, and we are committed to making sure everyone is seen, valued, and included.
This March, St. X was proud to celebrate National Women’s History Month. We want to create a culture that is inclusive, respectful and non-prejudiced. Having a gender-diverse workforce is a recipe for success.
As we conclude Black History Month, one of the prominent engagements we featured was the recognition of successful Black Artist on display throughout the building to inspire future artist of color. With each cultural holiday we celebrate artists within that culture to motivate students to dream bigger.
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, Hands Across Campus and the Chinese Club welcomed the BING YANG CHINESE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER and Master Chang who entertained the students with two great performances. Master Chang taught the students basic Taichi movements.
It was such a honor and, our pleasure to welcome Dr. Karen Bankston, PhD,MSN, FACHE, FAAN as our Keynote Speaker for our annual all school Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program this past Friday.
Our theme this year was "Let's Live Our Lives like Dr. King, Men for Others Living the Dream."
Dr. Bankston connected perfectly with our theme and challenged our young men to live out the credo going forward. Our music was provided by the immensely talented Aprina Johnson; students Anthony Dorsey with a virtuoso violin performance; and Doug Thorne and John Sebastian III with a hip-hop performance over a loop of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" to round out the program.
November marks Black Catholic History Month for the Catholic Church in the US. This tradition began in 1990 thanks to the advocacy work of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, a group of priests who first met in 1968 in the wake of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A few things going on here at St. X to honor the long history of Black Catholics in the US (historian Cyprian Davis has traced the presence of Black Catholics here back to the early 1500s).
- Nine consecutive day Novena led by Deacon Royce Winters entitled “Standing on the Shoulders of Our Ancestors: Celebrating Black Catholic History.”
- Each Monday this month, a student or faculty/staff member will share a brief story over the PA. These stories were compiled for Black Catholic History Month by the Office of Black Catholics in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.
- Selections from the Jesus Mafa art initiative can be found around school this month.
Congratulations to Alex Gansler '22 and Benjamin Trujillo '22 who were named by the College Board as National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars!
Our Hands Across Campus Core Team kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month with Judge Marilyn Zayas, the first Hispanic Appellate Court District Judge in the region. She spoke with our students about her life story, which originated in the Washington Heights section of New York, and her current position and succeeding despite the challenges. Our students were engaging and appreciative of her presence. We finished off the session with a group photo and the ever popular cultural delicacy, Churros. There will also be weekly Hispanic Heritage Facts starting Friday through October 15th over the PA in homeroom and a Hispanic Heritage Month artist display courtesy of our Fine Arts Department and Eric Brass.
Did you know? The observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month actually started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, it was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. In the decades since, National Hispanic Heritage Month proclamations have been made by every sitting president of the United States.
The timing of Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American nations. September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.
The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
As part of our Native American Heritage Month, Eric Brass and the Fine Arts Department has curated some notable Native American Artist and their stories. While you may not associate Native Americans and art together, there is no doubt the patterns and fabrics the have created are constantly woven into fashion around the world.
Also, as part of our Native American Heritage Month observance, Ethan McCoy, Class of ’22 shared his experience on a mission trip to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. He enlightened his fellow students on the cultural conversations, learnings, and gratitude from which he benefitted greatly. In addition to Ethan’s presentation St. Xavier is currently displaying Native American Artists and some of their works throughout the school, and signage in observance of Native American Heritage Month.
We salute and recognize all our Native Americans in our community…
Multicultural Senior Deliveries
This year, the multicultural seniors were gifted with a St. X engraved USB powerbank and a poster with all of the graduating seniors listed.