As a Benedictine Catholic school, Delbarton's commitment to social and racial justice is a foundational hallmark of the School. On June 23, 2020, Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd, OSB, shared the following message to inform our community of programs and initiatives that affirm Delbarton's ongoing, mission-driven commitment to Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.
Dear Families, Alumni, and Friends of Delbarton,
In the days following my June 1 letter to the community in response to the cries for racial justice resounding throughout our country, I received a number of emails from our alumni, both recent and the more senior, each asking "What is Delbarton doing now to respond to this movement for justice?" As I read these messages, it occurred to me that those who are not presently attending Delbarton or who have students currently in school would benefit from learning in detail about the work of promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Delbarton as it is done today.
This work is not solely a response to a specific crisis like that of our present moment in America. It is not something that will last for a brief time and then fade into obscurity. Rather, our commitment to DEI is grounded in our very identity as a Catholic and Benedictine school. We staunchly affirm the dignity of each of our students, faculty, staff, and families because we are convinced that we are all children of God and created in His image and likeness. We are further convinced that God has called His children to this place called Delbarton, to form a community of justice, love and peace, the kind of community modeled by the early Christians, Christian saints and people of courage throughout time. For us, in particular, we who make up the tapestry of life at Delbarton are called to this particular "school of the Lord's service" guided by the charism of St. Benedict of Nursia and his Rule. Here, "with the pure love of brothers," we love one another because we are here, together, on a search for God. If we truly proclaim, as we declare in our core beliefs, "that here, we belong," the "we" includes all, affirms all, and excludes none.
With this message, I share with you the work of one of our two Diversity Coordinators, Mrs. Jenna Gomez. Jenna is a World Languages teacher and co-moderator (with her colleague, English teacher and fellow Diversity Coordinator Mr. Tony Negrin) of Diversity Among Peers (DAP), the main student organization that works throughout the year to promote diversity at Delbarton School. Click here for Jenna's presentation which lays out what we have done, are doing, and plan to do every day to make diversity a reality of mind and heart at Delbarton.
Our work of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at Delbarton, like the work of conversion of the Benedictine monk, is always incomplete. It is lifelong, and our reach will always exceed our grasp. We will regularly fail, because we will regularly sin, and we will need to learn the virtue of humility and mutual forgiveness when we do so. Despite these shortcomings, we persevere in this work, because it is God's work, and intrinsic to the mission of Delbarton School. We can and will do no less for our young men.
I hope that you find Jenna's presentation enlightening, and, more importantly, a source of hope that Delbarton grasps the challenge of our national moment as we respond always to the Lord's call to conversion of heart.
Yours in Christ and St. Benedict,
Fr. Michael Tidd, OSB