Mission and Inclusion
"Racism arises when — either consciously or unconsciously — a person holds that his or her own race or ethnicity is superior, and therefore judges persons of other races or ethnicities as inferior and unworthy of equal regard. When this conviction or attitude leads individuals or groups to exclude, ridicule, mistreat, or unjustly discriminate against persons on the basis of their race or ethnicity, it is sinful. Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice. They reveal a failure to acknowledge the human dignity of the persons offended, to recognize them as the neighbors Christ calls us to love (Mt 22:39). Racism occurs because a person ignores the fundamental truth that, because all humans share a common origin, they are all brothers and sisters, all equally made in the image of God. When this truth is ignored, the consequence is prejudice and fear of the other, and—all too often—hatred."
~ Excerpt from Open Wide Our Hearts, a Pastoral Letter from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Office of Mission and Inclusion is committed to a vision of excellence that breathes life to our Augustinian values so that all students are included and share a sense of belonging. The values of veritas, unitas, and caritas are woven into the very fabric of our school and celebrate our mission and identity.
At Austin Prep, diversity defines who we are and reflects the richness of the communities our students belong to regionally and internationally. Inclusion insists that all members of the Austin Prep community are welcome and feel welcomed, have a voice and are able to fully participate in our school. And equity means that we are committed to building an institution that is ethically and spiritually committed to honoring the dignity of all human beings because they are made in the image and likeness of God. Our programs and initiatives promote inclusive excellence throughout the entire campus community, for faculty, staff, and students.
We accept the challenge of the Bishops and Cardinal Seán O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, because we want our students to live in a more just world.
People, Programs, and Promise
In the midst of social unrest in the Summer of 2020, Cardinal Seán, wrote that "Catholics are called to uphold and defend the truth that Black Lives Matter." At Austin Prep, the foundation of our community is our Catholic and Augustinian tradition. This underpins our educational approach to develop a community that reflects the diversity of the human family. In the Confessions, St. Augustine of Hippo, wrote that we are members of the same family and we must respect the inherent dignity of all human beings. This respect is at the heart of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We are fully committed to fostering a community where every member of Austin Prep is celebrated. We expect and hold members of the Austin Prep community accountable to respect each others’ individual differences, which include, but are not limited to, their race, ethnicity, religion, language, gender, culture, ability, age, learning style, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Austin Prep condemns racism, bigotry, or intolerance in any form.
Our approach to educating for justice is indispensable in fulfilling our mission and honoring our tradition. We will continue to work deliberately to ensure that the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and student body reflect the diversity that is present in the rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society. We realize that education opportunity gaps exist across society and that we can play a role in contributing to social justice. It is with a sense of humility that we commit to lifelong learning and strive to align our aspirations with word and action.
We are all made in the image and likeness of God and all human beings possess worth and dignity. Freedom from all types of discrimination is a right of all members of the Austin Prep community and we work continuously to eliminate implicit bias through ongoing education, professional development, and programming.
Austin Prep has been making progress to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, but we also recognize our work is not done. Austin Prep is committed to improving our sensitivity, our insight, and our celebration of diversity and differences. We continue our Journey in the footsteps of St. Augustine by listening and learning from the lived experiences of others, by sharing perspectives, and by aligning our actions with our core values of veritas, unitas, and caritas.
We look forward to sharing updates with you and welcome you to check back from time to time.