During the past month or so, an immensely important conversation around race has been taking place in our country… and within our Feehan community. We have received calls and letters, and we’ve carefully read social media posts that are challenging and often disturbing and certainly eye-opening.
Feehan shared a statement of support on June 1st (you can see that here), but a fair question has been asked as a follow-up. Basically: prayers and support are nice, but what are you doing to make real change?
We do have some specific answers around efforts already begun and plans for making more progress in this area. Becoming a more diverse community and becoming more adept at serving and welcoming a diverse community is a key goal of our 2019-2024 strategic plan. But this does not feel like the right time to rush out with a list of initiatives or a list of the work that has been done in the past year or two.
Instead, it feels like a time for even more listening... and acknowledging that we still don’t know all that we need to know, and that there is much more work to be done..
The issues around diversity and equity at Feehan are very important. We know it is hard to be Black at Feehan. Whether you are inspired, frustrated, reflective, disappointed, tired, angry or all of the above - we welcome your input and invite you to help us make an ever-better Feehan.
Feehan’s best moments have all been built upon a wide community creating a shared vision for change or progress and working together towards that vision. And this is how we will make real progress on this challenge, as well.
The most helpful conversations all start with a sustained effort to find common ground. We are committed to leading this effort with mercy, humility and an openness to all voices. Those conversations take time and effort and are best done in-person or on the phone or even these days through zoom or the like. And they are of such importance that care-filled conversations, deep listening and two-way collaboration have to be the path.
Likewise, the work of real change takes time and dedication and discomfort -- work we are committed to seeing through -- with the help of the wide Feehan community -- over days, months and years.
We invite you to join us in creating that change and that better Feehan. We are happy to share where Feehan has been, recent efforts that have quietly been taking shape and making an impact, and some existing plans for coming months. More importantly, we’d like to listen to your experience and your ideas for even more progress. And we’d like to invite you personally to help us make that progress, if you are interested in getting more involved.
We have a dedicated email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any feedback, inquiries or ideas. And if you’d like to speak directly, please feel free to call me (Mr. Sullivan) directly at my office line of 508-226-7411 x163 or use the email address to schedule a call at a mutually convenient time.
Thank you in advance for helping us make a better Bishop Feehan for all. Please join us in continuing to pray for health, healing and understanding for our school, our neighborhoods and our country.