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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

God is present everywhere, and every person is God's work
Saint Francis de Sales

Visitation School provides a warm, welcoming environment. Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are essential components to an excellent education and developing global leaders. At Visitation, this work stems from our deep roots, is fueled by the passion of an exceptional community and is of ongoing importance for our school every day.

Visitation is a place where many voices, experiences, perspectives, positions and identities come together, and we remain united through our Catholic, Salesian heritage and humanity. 

Read Open Wide Our Hearts: A Pastoral Letter Against Racism

Commitment to DEIB

At Visitation School, we honor the unique individuality of every member of our community. We strive to cultivate a faith-centered community that encourages all our members to appreciate the richness of diversity and uphold the inherent dignity of each individual.

Our founders, Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane de Chantal, have bestowed upon us the invaluable wisdom to approach each moment with steadfast trust in God's abiding presence within our minds and hearts. Embracing this awareness of God's presence in our daily lives enables us to foster a culture of love, care, and authenticity in our interactions. Our mission serves as our guiding light, emphasizing the significance of human life and the inherent dignity of all individuals. We adamantly stand against racism, violence, and injustice in any manifestation, recognizing that our commitment to this cause is ongoing.

Within the core of our identity is the Salesian charism that calls us to "Live + Jesus" in every encounter we have. Saint Francis reminds us “God is present everywhere and every person is God’s work.” We seek God's strength and wisdom, fully aware of our divine calling to be instruments of God's compassion and justice. Let us forge ahead together, committed to building a more just and equitable world.

Rene Gavic, Head of School

Unidiversity

by Danielle Harrison, M.A., J.D.

Not agreement, but connection

Not tolerance, but inclusion

Not fear, but wonder

Surrounded with love

Forming space to safely "BE WHO YOU ARE."

Allowing others to be authentically who God made them to be

Embracing the wonder of ALL God's creation

Surrounded in love

One Body - Many members

Working together to heal the world

This vision needs all of us to bring it to pass-

Surrounded by love

Diversity Statement

Visitation School is committed to building a beloved community and culture of inclusiveness through our Catholic and Salesian tradition, which calls us to recognize the dignity and sacredness of God in each other. We foster a community that embodies to its fullest a sense of belonging for each person that is an intentional and integral practice at the core of who we are.  

Our campus is a welcoming place rooted in love where many voices, experiences and identities come together to live out the Gospel Teachings of the Catholic Church, the Little Virtues of Salesian Spirituality, and the legacy of our founders, the Visitation Sisters of Holy Mary.

At Visitation School, diversity and the practice of honoring and including people of all backgrounds and life experiences strengthens our human family. Race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, ability, gender, sexual identity and religious beliefs are examples of the differences that enrich who we are as a diverse family under God’s care and love.

“The measure of love is to love without measure”
Saint Francis de Sales

 

Students of Color Society

Visitation Students of Color Society (SOCS) hosted a special convo, with all of Upper School and many Lower and Middle School classes, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. SOCS is a student group that creates a courageous space at Visitation where students of color are encouraged to pursue leadership opportunities. The group also discusses issues that pertain especially to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups at Visitation. 

Hispanic Heritage Month Convo

Los Alegres Bailadores, a Mexican folkloric dance group that has delivers colorful and authentic performances throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota performed during the Hispanic Heritage Month Convo planned by the Students of Color Society. 

Lunch & Learn Student Leadership Development

Upper School students gather for a photo with Milissa Silva '90 as part of the Lunch & Learn series. Lunch & Learn is an opportunity for Visitation Upper School students to learn from the lived experiences of women leaders from our alumnae and broader community. 

Lunch & Learn Student Leadership Development

As part of Visitation's leadership initiative Lunch & Learn, Visitation Upper School welcomed Milissa Silva '90 current CEO of her family's second generation forty-two year old business, El Burrito Mercado. Alongside her experience as an owner of a business, Silva-Diaz is also a diversity & inclusion specialist who advocates for creating opportunities for all people, particularly women of color. Ms. Silva shared her experiences around leading a family business, being a women business owner and the advice she learned along the way. 

Women's Day 2023

Visitation Women's Day exposes students in Middle and Upper School to a variety of woman leaders from within out community and beyond. The Leadership panel featured Christine Cumming '69, Dr. Theresa Glomb, Molly Kinsella, Julie Koepsell, Jamie Candee and Danielle Harrison

Women's Day 2023

As part of Women's Day 2023, Visitation Trustee Danielle Harrison presents to Upper School students. Ms. Harrison led 3 sessions titled, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" and was a part of the Leadership Panel. 

Women's Day 2023

2023 Women's Day keynote speaker Rosalind Wiseman addresses Middle and Upper School students. Wiseman, a multiple New York Times bestselling author is a thought leader who challenges us to understand the power of dignity and social dynamics to build courage, connection and community. She is also the co-founder of Cultures of Dignity, an organization that partners with communities to reimagine how to bring dignity and social and emotional learning to all. 

Engaged Globally

Students, as part of Visitation's partnership with the Dominican Sisters at St. Dominic’s Mission Hospital and Barefoot-Chisankano School in Zambia, paint one of the school buildings. Visitation Upper School offers enrichment opportunities to students through travel opportunities -- Students may focus on service, the arts, cultural immersion or science through travel experiences that encourage global citizenship, confidence, curiosity, leadership, strong communication and a genuine appreciation for other cultures.

Engaged Globally

As part of an arts and culture trip, Visitation Upper School students travel to Japan. Visitation Upper School offers enrichment opportunities to students through travel opportunities -- Students may focus on service, the arts, cultural immersion or science through travel experiences that encourage global citizenship, confidence, curiosity, leadership, strong communication and a genuine appreciation for other cultures.

Days for Girls

Women ActiVISts Club collaborated with STUCO and Life Club to host the annual Days for Girls fabric cutting and sewing event. Days for Girls is an organization dedicated to impacting the lives of women and girls by attempting to eradicate myths and stigma around menstruation and putting an end to period poverty. 

Days for Girls

Women ActiVISts Club collaborated with STUCO and Life Club to host the annual Days for Girls fabric cutting and sewing event. Days for Girls is an organization dedicated to impacting the lives of women and girls by attempting to eradicate myths and stigma around menstruation and putting an end to period poverty. 

World Languages Field Trip

Visitation students, with their teachers Priscilla Van Sloun and Johanna Huang, take a field trip to explore Chinese culture. They visited Normandale Japanese Garden, had lunch and shopped at Prairie Asia Mall, and explored Chinese artworks and exhibitions at the MIA. Beginning in Montessori Pre-K, Visitation offers three world languages: French, Spanish and Chinese. 

Live Jesus Day

Father Joe Newman, OSFS spoke to Upper School students as part of Live Jesus Day. He addressed students, faculty and staff as well as parents/community as part of our Sed Vitae Speaker Series on how to bring Salesian Spirituality from school into the home. 

National Catholic Sisters Week

Visitation Sisters share their vocation stories with students during Catholic Sisters Week. In 1873, six Visitation Sisters traveled from St. Louis to St. Paul to begin a school for girls. Visitation is the only all-girls school in Minnesota.