Equity Work at O’Dea

Posted June 1, 2020

O’Dea High School stands steadfastly against systemic racism and oppression everywhere, and we will continue to advance our educational mission to inform and empower students to create positive, transformative, and lasting change.

O’Dea High School’s Diversity and Equity Committee (DEC) is comprised of 20 faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and board members. DEC’s mission is to live out Catholic Social Teaching by making O’Dea High School a more equitable and inclusive community, where all are welcome, supported, and can thrive.

In 2019, we received a grant from the Fulcrum Foundation to work with Equity Matters, a consulting group specializing in training, assessment and consultation around racial equity and systemic change. We’re grateful for this additional support from philanthropy to help advance our work toward becoming a more anti-racist community.

O’Dea faculty and staff have committed to working on individual and collective racial equity efforts over the summer. In order to make this a community learning opportunity, the Diversity and Equity Committee has offered faculty and staff several options to engage in this critical work. Nearly all adults on campus picked a book study, a podcast and/or film study to further their individual racial equity journey. Faculty and staff will be participating in cohorts and discussion groups over the summer. These groups will serve as opportunities to connect and hold each other accountable.

Additionally, O’Dea High School students have taken collective action over the past year to advance racial equity at the school. The Student Advisors for Equity (SAFE) is comprised of 18 students across 10-12th grade. Students on the SAFE team have attended training at other area high schools and universities. Students are also examining and advising on policies that impact the student body, including hair policy and dress code, and student representation in Honors and AP classes. The SAFE team’s first project this summer is to read and watch Just Mercy. We are meeting online in late June to discuss and digest our learning together.

Members of the O’Dea SAFE Student Team