Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Justice, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are integral to our Holy Child education

Our cherished Holy Child Goal Five requires us to “create a learning climate based on trust and reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of each person.” Throughout Mayfield’s curriculum, student leadership programs, and service initiatives is the commitment to explore questions of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of Catholic Social Justice teaching.

Compelled by Holy Child Goal Four “to work for Christian principles of justice, peace, and compassion in every facet of life,” and inspired by the words of Pope Francis that, as Catholics, “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form,” Mayfield Senior School community members embrace their responsibility to work as anti-racists for positive social change through “Actions Not Words.”

— Kate Morin, Head of School

We are a diverse and dynamic community and we need to intentionally ensure that we are creating a safe environment where everyone feels cherished and has the confidence to become the best versions of their true selves.

Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Education Initiatives

List of 9 items.

  • Cultural Heritage Celebrations

    Schoolwide events celebrate and raise awareness of the diverse heritage of our community, from creating an ofrenda each year on Día de los Muertos to honoring our nation’s Native inhabitants on Indigenous People’s Day.
  • Diversity Council

    This student-led group raises awareness and spearheads justice, diversity, equity and inclusion programming initiatives throughout the year.
  • Diversity Programming

    Our students regularly lead and participate in schoolwide and classroom conversations on topics like “Difficult Conversations” and “Diversity is Dignity and Belonging for Everyone.”
  • Education & Conferences

    Each year, our students, faculty and staff attend nationally-recognized summits to address diversity, equity and inclusion in education, including NAIS's People of Color Conference (POCC) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC).
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  • Formation of Self Curriculum

    Mayfield’s pioneering Formation of Self health and wellness program delves into topics including: individual and institutional values, identity, implicit bias, representation, stereotypes, microaggressions, allyship, intersectionality, race, and white privilege.
  • Guest Speaker Programming

    Throughout the year, guest speakers raise awareness of local and global social justice issues. Recent events include a presentation by Rev. Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive Director at the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) and a Holocaust Remembrance Day Assembly with Auschwitz survivor Joseph Alexander.
  • Interfaith Prayer Services

    We embrace members of all faith traditions at Mayfield, and we celebrate our diverse spiritual community at all-school interfaith prayer services.
  • Service Learning & Social Justice

    Through our theology service learning curriculum, Mayfield students become women of faith and hope who for whom service is a way of life. They examine contemporary issues of social justice—and injustice—and build social responsibility through action and contemplation.
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  • Student Affinity Groups

    Students explore and share their heritage and culture in affinity groups including Asian American, Filipina, and Latina. These student-led groups get together to celebrate, connect and create awareness.

Education in Action at Mayfield

We want to hear from you

As we continue to expand our justice, diversity, equity and inclusion programming, we are grateful for contributions from members of our Mayfield community.

  • If you experienced or witnessed discrimination and/or inequities at Mayfield, please know we are here to listen. Feedback helps us to ensure every student feels like they belong at Mayfield. Please email Sarah Briuer Boland to start the conversation. 
  • If you are interested in joining our Alum Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board, please email the Alumnae Office.
Sarah Briuer Boland with members of the Diversity Council

Meet Sarah Briuer Boland, Co-Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

That’s a long title. What does it mean?
It is long! I like to include all four words because diversity on its own is insufficient. As Diversity Practitioner Verna Myers says, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” To that I would add that equity is having an equal vote on the party planning committee. And justice is when we all work to ensure there are no barriers to everyone getting to the party.  

Why do you ♥ Mayfield?
I’m so grateful to be part of an organization whose mission aligns with my personal calling. When I understood that part of Mayfield’s mission is to “celebrate the uniqueness and dignity of each person, and of creation,” I knew I was home. Additionally, the diversity of the students, faculty and staff is fertile ground for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a “beloved community” that guides my activism.

What inspired you to do this work? 
I had the good fortune to grow up amidst lots of differences. As one of a handful of white kids in a predominantly African American neighborhood, for instance, I was aware of my racial identity from a very young age. Having diversely-identifying friends, teachers and colleagues I love and respect makes working for equity a no-brainer.
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Sarah Briuer Boland was appointed Mayfield’s first ever Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator in 2018. Known on campus as “Ms. BB,” Sarah taught at The Writing Program at the Dornsife College of Arts, Letters and Sciences at USC before coming to Mayfield as an English teacher in 2015. She also serves as a community activist working for racial equity alongside local grassroots groups.

— Sarah Briuer Boland, Co-Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We want all at Mayfield to be equally comfortable sharing their gifts, their perspectives and just being themselves. Students do not have to leave pieces of themselves at home. This is what educating the whole child is all about.

Meet Cassandra Gonzales, Visual Arts Teacher & Co-Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

How do your passions for art, education and social justice come together? 
I strive to help students form their artistic voices and speak their truths. My favorite part of teaching is when a student begins to see art—and knowledge in general—as tools for their empowerment. I’m passionate about representation, equity and access in art education and technology. In my time off, I volunteer with a variety of organizations, including Las Fotos Project, a local non-profit that helps young women to recognize the power of telling their own stories in the media. 

Why do you ♥ Mayfield?
I am inspired by being at Mayfield because this is a community that truly cares about learning and growing. I love that Mayfield is so supportive of each individual student. As a faculty member I feel that my experience and knowledge is trusted and supported which goes a long way towards building an institution that truly meets the “wants and needs of the age,” as Cornelia Connelly encouraged. 

What inspired you to do this work? 
When I started doing this work there wasn’t even a name for it; or at least not one I was aware of. As a Chicana who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and attended predominantly white schools, I learned very early on about systemic racism. For as long as I can remember, I have been advocating for the rights of the marginalized. When you are the only person of color in a workplace, school, or community you find yourself being the person to call out racism pretty quickly. 

In my vast experience of doing this work, Mayfield is the first place to acknowledge my experience and contributions towards justice. I am excited about Mayfield’s commitment to justice, diversity, equity and inclusion and am proud to be a part of its growth.
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Cassandra Gonzales is a Chicana, educator, artist and administrator born and raised in San Gabriel Valley. She has an equal passion for teaching and programmatic planning and has extensive experience in both. Cassandra is also a co-founder at IXeM Collective, a group of filmmakers, community technologists and scholars, who focus on preservation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) histories. Cassandra earned her Master of Science in Art & Design Education from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Postscripts 2019: Celebrating our Unique Selves

Our 2019 Postscripts magazine explored Mayfield’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which is informed by our Holy Child Schools Goal Five: “To create a learning environment based on trust and reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of each person.” 

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Sarah Briuer Boland

    Sarah Briuer Boland 

    Co-Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    (626) 799-9121 ext. 241
  • Photo of Cassandra Gonzales

    Cassandra Gonzales 

    Visual Arts Teacher & Co-Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    (626) 799-9121 ext. 245

Helpful Resources

Communication Guidelines

Here are some communication guidelines Mayfield students follow in class:

Actively listen with respect. 
Use your energy to listen to what is said before thinking about how to respond or rushing to judgment. Notice and name your own responses.

Speak from your own experience
using “I” statements. 
“I don’t agree with what you said. In my experience...”
 
Acknowledge your feelings. If someone says something that hurts or offends you, do not attack the person. Acknowledge that the comment—not the person—hurt your feelings and explain why.

Challenge with care. Find ways to respectfully challenge others and be open to challenges of your own views. Think about how to question ideas without personal attacks.

Clarify. If you don’t understand something, ask a question.

Think with your head AND your heart.

One voice, all ears. 
Do not interrupt when others are speaking.

Lean into discomfort. 
We are all in process. Challenge yourself to contribute even if it is not perfectly formulated.
 
Assume the best intention of the other person; question your own motives
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Adapted from AWARE-LA’s Communication Guidelines for a Brave Space, facinghistory.org, and the Fahs Collaborative at Meadville Lombard Theological School’s Beloved Conversations.

Exploring Identifiers

Mayfield’s sophomore curriculum includes 11 lessons on issues of diversity and inclusion. One class explores eight “identifiers” to help students build a new awareness of and relationship with all the elements that make up their unique selves. Here are some descriptions or examples of each: 

Socioeconomic Status

My family doesn’t need to work to survive, middle class, working class

Age

Teenager, young adult, middle-aged, senior

Religion

Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritual, Agnostic 

Race

Native American, Asian, Latinx, Black, White, Middle Eastern, Mixed Race 

Ability

Emotional, physical, cognitive or learning differences 

Family Structure

Two parent, single parent, divorced parent, incarcerated parent, deceased parent, blended family, adopted, foster household

Sexuality 

Sexual orientation or preference 

Gender

How you act, dress and see yourself; how others see you
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Adapted from the National Association of Independent Schools and other sources.

What We're Reading

Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 21 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.