A Message from the President of Our Lady of Mercy Academy
June 4, 2020

Dear Families, Friends, and Alumnae of Our Lady of Mercy Academy,

The tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, followed by the ensuing violence across our Nation, has triggered a host of emotions, including outrage, frustration, sadness, and despair. But, at the heart of it all, is the wake-up call to take responsibility to dismantle systemic racism and other forms of injustice.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops beckons us to take action in their letter of May 29, 2020:

“Racism is not a thing of the past or simply a throwaway political issue to be bandied about when convenient. It is a real and present danger that must be met head on. As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference. We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.”

( Statement of U.S. Bishop Chairmen in Wake of Death of George Floyd and National Protests, May 29, 2020).

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY  

Our Lady of Mercy Academy welcomes students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
At Our Lady of Mercy Academy, we are united as a school community to be advocates for inclusivity and stand firmly against all forms of racism. As women of Mercy, we:

  • support the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: Nonviolence, Racism; Integration; Women; Earth  
  • value that a Mercy education promotes justice as a responsibility
  • recognize that the world needs a touch of mercy and uphold the dignity of every person
  • integrate the Sisters of Mercy social justice priorities in our curriculum (Theology, English, and History)
Advocates for Change: Initiatives and Recommitment

In the coming weeks, we affirm that we will further our commitment to our students and families to provide an inclusive and nurturing environment where they will feel safe, valued, and inspired. We do not have all the answers but immediate steps include:

  • partnering with Mercy Education System of the Americas (MESA) re: educational resources, summer reading materials, and curriculum integration (i.e. social justice advocacy, critical concerns: nonviolence, racism, women)
  • exploring additions to the Wellness Program  -- human dignity, social justice breakout/workshops
  • offering diversity/anti-racism training as part of orientation/spiritual retreat experiences
  • establishing a task force: students, alumnae, faculty, and staff working together to address breaking down racism
  • expanding alumnae mentor program - focus on mentors/students of color working with the Empowerment Club to invite guest speakers and provide an open forum for inclusive conversation: racial equity, social justice, etc.
  • engaging a speaker to address diversity, support services, racial equity, as part of Professional Development for faculty/staff. 
During these difficult and challenging days, let us pray for the end of the pandemic, the violence and unrest in our world, and especially for unification, respect, and human dignity for all people. 

In the words of Catherine McAuley, “We can never say it’s enough.” However, we can make a difference for someone beginning today.

In Mercy,
Margaret Myhan
President

Our Lady of Mercy Academy
815 Convent Road
Syosset, New York 11791

516.921.1047
www.olma.org