Summit Week: Exploring the Topic of Gender

Posted: February 1, 2019

We continued our year-long exploration of the topic of gender -- the focus of our 2018-2019 Summit on Human Dignity -- with an assembly and breakout sessions held during the week of January 28.

The assembly keynote speaker was Ms. Brandi Chastain, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold-medalist, coach, and sports broadcaster. Chastain, a graduate of Archbishop Mitty High School and of Santa Clara University, is also the assistant coach of Bellarmine’s varsity soccer team. “This community (Bellarmine) is very important to who you will become for the rest of your life,” she told the audience of 1,650 students. “Every one of you has a tremendous power to recognize inequality and to make change.”

More than two dozen breakout sessions were offered during the course of the week, many of which were led by students, faculty or staff. Local community members also lent their expertise, as did Mr. Ryan Hubbell, a teacher from Brophy College Prep, who joined us for day one of the breakouts. Topics of the sessions included Women’s Leadership in the Religious Community, Sexism in STEM, The Business of Advertising Sexism, and The Importance of Communication in Understanding Gender.

The week culminated in a school-wide prayer service, during which students had the opportunity to reflect upon their newfound knowledge and how it can be used to make real change in the world.

The goals of our justice summit on gender include: describing how social institutions and power structures create gender expectations, identifying subtle or invisible ways in which gender bias and sexism prevent respect for human dignity, engaging in compassionate conversation around gender with peers who have different experiences and views, and reflecting on God's call for justice and act accordingly to promote gender equity and inclusion.

The Summit is coordinated by faculty members Katie Bauman, Emily Rosenbaum, and Ben Sigrist. Previous justice themes at Bellarmine have included poverty, human trafficking, sustainability, immigration, hunger, and race.

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