Cor Unum Statement and Resources

Our Commitment to Building a Fair and Just Society

The extreme pain and suffering we have witnessed, experienced and mourned over the past three weeks is sadly not new to our country. Our way forward is to strongly and vocally denounce racism and to do all that we can to build a fair and just society. We continue to invite our broader community of parents, alumni and friends to join us in our work . We appreciate and honor the passion shared by our students, faculty, parents and alumni as they offer their hopes for how our community can be an agent in ending systemic racism.  

Schools of the Sacred Heart - San Francisco amplifies the commitment from our Sacred Heart Provincial when we say that we “strongly condemn[s] the gross violation of human dignity that we, along with millions of others, witnessed in the video of George Floyd’s last minutes. We are outraged at yet another killing of an unarmed African-American man, and stand in solidarity with all people of color who are at risk of violence in our country. We also call for a quick and fair legal process to ensure accountability and justice.

“Each of us is created in the image of God, brothers and sisters, united and equal in God’s eyes. The reality is that people of color in the United States are living every day with what all of us watched in the George Floyd video. We pledge to raise our voice in opposition to acts of racial discrimination and to fight tirelessly against the sin of racism.

“We stand with the U.S. bishops’ pastoral, Open Wide Our Hearts, in calling for a “genuine conversion of heart, a conversion that will compel change and the reform of our institutions and society.”

School leadership and our Board of Trustees are committed to sustaining the mission of Sacred Heart education to developing a fair and just society and to forming a community that is diverse in its student population, teaching staff and Board composition.

In the mission of the Society of Sacred Heart, “Cor Unum” draws all of us to the center of the heart of God. It is at that center that we believe that all people are and must be held as equal, unconditionally loved and valued. Therefore our statement of equity, Cor Unum, defines our conviction that innately human differences should be recognized, honored and celebrated; Cor Unum is rooted in the motto of the Religious of the Sacred Heart: “Cor unum et anima una in Corde Jesu.”

The Organizational Learning Committee of the Board will have oversight over the current and new initiatives included in the school’s strategic plan to support and execute our “Cor Unum” work in an even more accelerated mode. In particular, we will continue and amplify our efforts to:

  • Build diversity among our students, faculty, staff, administration and Board 
  • Engage our entire community in ways of living in a culture of Cor Unum
  • Equip an even broader portion of our school in Dialogue Training and gather the empathetic learnings that result from active listening and authentic dialogue
  • Open channels for feedback from all constituencies
  • Engage impactful speakers for our Cor Unum Week 
  • Present diverse voices and aspects of the human condition in developing student summer reading lists
  • Lead discussion groups on this year’s required summer reading that centers on anti-racism
  • Provide extensive lists of resources on anti-racism to students and families (see below)
  • Support our students' voices in standing for social justice
  • Inspired by the tenets of our International Baccalaureate curriculum to offer an education that is expansive, inclusive and sensitive to the world’s most pressing issues and needs — locally, nationally and globally — we will develop “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” 

In addition to the actions and experiences we have engaged as part of our strategic work, we will continue to listen and further develop our plans and programming.

We charge all members of our community to be aware of societal structures that need to be reformed as well as to tend to each of our own individual innate biases. We invite you to complete this form to request a passkey and link to view the presentations from Dr. Kang delivered to our community on April 28, 2020.

At this time, as a Sacred Heart community, we look deeply within and seek always to be better.


2020 Cor Unum Week Speaker: Dr. Jerry Kang

This year’s Cor Unum Week theme, “Language and the Power of Words,” included two presentations by Dr. Jerry Kang, the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and a Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA. Much of his research has focused on implicit bias, which was the topic he addressed in a live webinar for students in Grades 5–12, faculty and staff, and a pre-recorded, age-appropriate talk for students in Grades K–4. Recordings of both are available for you to enjoy.


Anti-Racism Resource List

The resource list below was developed by our library team in support of children and adults, parents and teachers. It includes a curated set of resources related to:

  • Black Lives Matter
  • Information and perspective
  • Understanding others and being understood ourselves 
  • Understanding ourselves 
  • Learning to notice, appreciate and respect our differences 
  • Empathy and empowerment
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Tolerance and acceptance 
  • Reflection and action

"Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably." -NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity

The Essentials of Dialogue from Generation Global have helped to guide our school community’s practice of creating safe and brave spaces from which to speak, listen and learn. The resources are shared in support of continuing and deepening dialogue about topics that are challenging, often uncomfortable and vital to the betterment of ourselves and our society. 

Included in this list are three books our faculty and staff are reading:

  • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Parents, alumni and friends are invited to join them in their summer reading experience. We will host time at the start of the 2020–21 school year for faculty-led discussions on each of these texts.

Explore the categories below to find our anti-racism resources. 


Setting the Course for Cor Unum and Current Strategic Plan Authorship
  • A yearly survey of parents started in 2013
  • Diversity and school culture consultant Ruth Sanchez visits for one week in April 2016 
  • Faculty, students, trustees and parents have opportunities to share input that informs the strategy and initiatives for 2020 strategic plan; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) emerges as a major strategy in Area of Impact I of the strategic plan
  • A DEI mission statement is drafted and presented to the Board and Leadership team in March/April 2018

Curricular Work

The reading curriculum is audited and revised to reflect representative texts that offer a greater diversity of voices, perspectives and lenses. The Great Texts Philosophy is established and a large scale inventory review and overhaul of the Library Collection is undertaken (2015–present). Great Texts example: Between the World and Me becomes a representative text for sophomores in 2017.


International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
  • The IBDP is introduced as a curricular offering in the 2016–17 school year
  • The IB mission statement’s first lines read:

The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

  • The school’s two history offerings within the IBDP are:
    • “History of the Americas” — A non-U.S. centric offering that focuses on the multiple historical narratives that have shaped the history of the U.S. and includes the curricular unit “Rights and Protest”
    • “Global Politics” — Outcomes include developing international-mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives, encouraging dialogue and debate, and nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims. A seminal unit is “Human Rights.”

Co-Curricular Engagement Through Author and Speaker Visits

Annual author visits, inspired by the Great Texts Philosophy, animate the yearly curriculum, and include a diverse range of authors:

  • David Whyte, spring 2020
  • Madeline Miller, fall 2019
  • Chris Riley, spring 2019
  • Rowan Ricardo Philips, fall 2018
  • George Saunders, fall 2017
  • Billy Collins, spring 2017
  • Naomi Shihab-Nye, spring 2016
  • Matt de la Pena, spring 2016
  • Jacqueline Woodson, 2014
  • Richard Rodriguez, 2013
  • America’s Promise screening to all faculty, 2013

Speaker visits:

  • Dr. Jerry Kang, the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and a Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA, presents on implicit bias as part of the second Cor Unum Week, April 2020
  • Mary Kay Hunyady, RSCJ, and Molly McGettigan Arthur ’68 visit high school and eighth grade students to present on Doctrine of Discovery, 2019
  • Sr. Irma Dillard, RSCJ, attends Convent eighth grade classes to present the Society’s Truth and Reconciliation work, 2019
  • Dr. Charles Love, a colleague and bodyguard of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who participated in the Selma to Montgomery march, presents at an MLK Day high school assembly and visits classes, January 2019
  • Ashanti Branch, the Founder and the Executive Director of The Ever Forward Club, leads “The Mask You Live In” workshops (Stuart Hall High School 2015–16, Convent & Stuart Hall high school students 2016–17, 2017–18 and 2018–19, Stuart Hall for Boys 2016
  • The Mask You Live In parent screening, 2016
  • Ruby Bridges presents to high school students and faculty, 2015
  • Alison Park, a DEI consultant from Blink Consulting visits, April 2015
  • Mary Beth Tinker, Activist and First Amendment advocate, presents to Convent High School Students in April 2014

Dialogue Training with the Institute for Global Change
  • Dialogue training for 60 students and faculty held in San Francisco and Chicago, April 2019
  • Dialogue training for all faculty and staff, April 2020
  • The dialogue framework is introduced and practiced in all K–12 classrooms, April 2020

Professional Development and Student Engagement
  • An annual faculty and staff cohort attends the NAIS People of Color Conference
  • Students selected from a pool of applicants to attend the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (Seattle, 2019; Nashville, 2018; Atlanta, 2016)
  • Three Administrators (High School Admissions Director and two Division Heads) attend Wildwood School’s Summer Institute on Multicultural Leadership, June 2018.

Serving the Community and City
  • The school has Increased financial assistance to support socio-economic diversity. We now award close to $9 million in annual awards to support a range of  K–12 families and needs.
  • Thirty-seven percent of Convent High School students and 42 percent of Stuart Hall High School students identify as people of color.
  • The Heart to Heart Program brings together Convent & Stuart Hall students and children from surrounding communities and nearby schools with activities and programs designed to promote friendship and understanding. Learn more about our Summer Reading Program, peer tutoring program, Heart to Heart Benefit Concert and holiday toy drive here

Publications
  • Convent High School, with its award-winning student-run newspaper, The Broadview, won the First Amendment Press Freedom Award for the sixth time in 2020, more than any other private school nationwide. The prize is handed out to schools that support, teach and honor the first amendment. 
  • The 2019 President’s Report covers the first Cor Unum Week and includes a story about Plant Engineer Hector Flores and his transformative experience at the 2018 People of Color Conference.
  • The 2019 Alumni Bulletin features BIPOC alumni and the story of an alumnus who photographed sites in 12 states where statues and busts of generals and slaveholders had been removed.
  • Rachel Simpson, Head of Convent High School, received the 2018 Journalism Education Association’s Administrator of the Year award for her role in actively protecting student expression.
  • A story is published in the 2017 President’s Report about how students with differing views about the presidential election engaged in conversations facilitated by faculty.