Inclusion at Marist

To fulfill Marist School’s mission in education, it is imperative that we foster an inclusive and welcoming school community. We are committed to doing what is necessary to encourage positive systemic change and build an anti-racist culture at Marist.

Our Action Steps

List of 7 items.

  • Fearless Dialogues Partnership

    In February 2020, we formally partnered with cultural competency experts Fearless Dialogues for a two-year engagement during which we will invest considerable energy toward fostering a culture of change that features trust, accountability, and mutual support. Specifics of our process with Fearless Dialogues are below.

    Year One (Spring 2020 through June 2021)
    Activities during Year One focus on helping us alter the chemistry that has prevented us from building the inclusive school environment we want and need to have.

    • Program Audit – In April and May, Fearless Dialogues audited the 26 programs that Marist’s Office of Inclusion & Diversity either sponsored, co-sponsored, or supported during the past school year. The audit metrics evaluated the execution, outcomes, and overall effectiveness of these programs in reflecting, reinforcing, or promoting Marist’s diversity, equity, and inclusion values. While the majority of the programs received high marks, Fearless Dialogues has a number of recommendations that we will begin to implement during the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Curriculum Audit – Fearless Dialogues, alongside our new Curriculum Review Task Force, will work together to perform a review and valuation of the Marist School curriculum, which will determine the strengths and growth areas for embedding social justice, equity, and diversity into the classroom and student experience. Our intention is to enhance our coursework regarding the issues and history around race in order to prepare our students to be culturally sensitive servant leaders in our world. This work was to have begun this spring, but, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will begin in fall 2020 instead.
    • Faculty/Staff Training – This fall, Fearless Dialogues will take Marist’s entire faculty and staff through training sessions that work toward transformation and change in self and others, helping to open eyes to see gifts instead of stereotypes, enable an environment for hard conversations, and cultivate the hope that leads to sustainable change. This training originally was to have occurred in April, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Experiential Learning Sessions – A foundational part of Fearless Dialogues’ work with Marist is to create spaces where each member of our community can feel comfortable speaking thoughtfully and courageously across differences. To accomplish this, Fearless Dialogues will lead a series of five workshops for a cohort of 200 members of our school community, including students, parents, alumni, administration, and Board of Trustees. Those that participate in these workshops will become ambassadors to foster a culture of meaningful engagement across differences during the second year of Marist’s partnership with Fearless Dialogues.

    Year Two (2021-2022 Academic Year)

    The goal of Year Two is to help Marist begin to embody the practices that inform healthy discourse and community-building across differences. By developing shared understanding, sharing experiences, and providing shared language and tools, sustained cultural change can begin to flourish.

    • New Student Orientation – As new students enter Marist, they will participate in an orientation workshop to set expectations and cultural norms of the Marist School community. This type of orientation will become an ongoing component of the orientation activities experienced by all new Marist students.
    • Student Engagements by Grade Level – Fearless Dialogues will take all Marist students through a series of workshops based on the theme “Embodying Courage.” These workshops will equip students to live out a commitment to know, to embrace, to listen, to care and acknowledge, and to act, thus helping create an inclusive community that embraces and celebrates differences. The workshops will draw from Catholic teachings on solidarity, human dignity, care for the vulnerable, and responsibility for nurturing God’s creation and will reflect and uphold the Marist mission and values.
  • Office of Inclusion & Diversity

    Marist School’s Office of Inclusion & Diversity has a full-time director, Ms. LaRita Williams. We have restructured her role so that, going forward, she will have a voice in all conversations regarding student life. Additionally, we have added coordinator positions to the Office of Inclusion & Diversity, expanding the number of people working in and helping with programming related to inclusion and diversity in an effort to grow and strengthen this department.
  • Summer Reading Program Focusing on Anti-racism

    Recognizing the importance of advancing the school’s conversation about and engagement with the topics of race and racism, this summer’s “On the Same Page” reading program will see the entire school community, alumni and parents included, reading books that will help us listen to and learn from voices that may be different from our own. Our Foundations students (7th and 8th grades) will read Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism and You by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi; our high school students will read the Young Adult version of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, and alumni will read the Adult version of Just Mercy. Dates and times for alumni book discussions will be announced soon. Students, faculty, and staff will engage in facilitated discussions and lessons in the fall, and parent discussion sessions are being arranged as well. You can learn more about the summer reading program here.
  • Policy Updates

    Recognizing that every aspect of our school community needs to be considered as we work toward building an anti-racist culture, we have reviewed, clarified, and updated our school policies related to discrimination, including racism, and harassment. We worked on our revisions with the help of students of color as well as with the oversight of our Diversity Advisory Council. The new policies, documented in our Parent-Student Handbook, will be conveyed to students at handbook assemblies and orientation activities. Parents will be required to review the handbook and affirm their commitment to these policies with a signature before their children can begin school.
  • Diversity Advisory Council

    We have expanded the membership and role of our Diversity Advisory Council. The group now includes members representing current parents, faculty/staff, Board of Trustees, and alumni. The group will meet monthly to help guide the activities of the Office of Inclusion & Diversity and advise on incidents that threaten the school’s commitment to a welcoming and inclusive school community.
  • Student Diversity Advisory Council

    In fall 2020, we formed our new Student Diversity Advisory Council (SDAC), which will work with the Office of Inclusion & Diversity to promote a culture of inclusivity in the student life at Marist. Student leaders on the SDAC will be part of the cohort trained by Fearless Dialogues, and we expect they will attend the National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference and lead the Diversity Summit we host each spring for students from many area independent schools.
  • Faculty Leadership in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

    We acknowledge that faculty and staff play a key role in promoting an anti-racist culture at Marist and in supporting our students of color. As mentioned above, all Marist faculty and staff will participate in training and experiences led by Fearless Dialogues, which will equip them to recognize and address racism, to dialogue across differences, and to seek understanding through the lens of compassion. Additionally, we continue to broaden our nationwide efforts to recruit a diverse faculty and staff, including attending multiple teacher of color hiring fairs and visiting historically black colleges and universities.

Recent Communications

List of 6 news stories.

  • Progress Update on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Marist School

    Marist School is pleased to share a progress update on our ongoing work surrounding Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. The update covers the various and most recent action steps we have devoted ourselves to in order to foster the inclusive, welcoming, and anti-racist school community our Catholic faith and Marist values call us to have. These steps, focused on the work we have done in the last 18 months, build upon and enhance the significant programming that has been in place at Marist School for many years. 
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  • Marist School Principal Updates Parents on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Work

    Marist School Principal Mr. Kevin Mullally shared this progress update with current parents.
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  • Progress Update on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Marist School

    Marist School President Father Bill Rowland, S.M. shares the action steps the school is taking to build an anti-racist culture at Marist School.
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  • Marist School's Summer Reading Program Features Books Focused on Anti-racism

    Marist School recently announced the book selections for the 2020-2021 “On the Same Page” summer reading program.
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  • Marist School President Fr. Bill Rowland, S.M. Responds to BlackatMarist Instagram

    Marist School President Father Bill Rowland, S.M. comments on the painful experiences shared on the BlackatMarist Instagram account.
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  • Marist School President Comments on Atlanta & National Protests

    Marist School President Father Bill Rowland, S.M. addresses the school community in response to the Atlanta and national protests for racial equity.
    Read More

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers