Diversity, Equity & Belonging

As a Catholic institution, founded by the Sisters of Mercy and rooted in the Mercy tradition, Mother McAuley is committed to fostering an environment that honors the dignity of every individual.

Our young women are taught the importance of the five Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism, and women. With these values as our guide, our administrators, educators, coaches, parents/guardians, students, and the wider McAuley community work in partnership to ensure all students feel included and valued.

We recognize the need for a thoughtful and deliberate process with measurable outcomes in order for meaningful and sustainable change to occur within our diversity, equity and belonging efforts. We will continue to listen; grow our understanding of the concepts of diversity, equity and belonging; and assess and develop our plans to best respond to the needs of our community.



The Freshman Class Dignity Workshop offers a reflective lens to foster empathy toward others through active listening, gain an understanding that the way that people walk through the world is based upon their own lived experience, and gives students the opportunity to lean into their humanity and shared experience in order to understand the difference between dignity violations and dignity honored. 

Student Voice

Student Voice

McAuley continues to develop and implement equitable educational practices, opportunities, resources and expectations for all students in regards to school policy, academic placement and performance, and resource allocation.

We facilitated three Student Voice Circles in order to gather the student perspective on how the school environment at McAuley interacts with their identity markers. The purpose of these conversations is to help shape a positive school climate, where every person feels a sense of belonging within a diverse environment. 

Student Life 

Student Life

Students are encouraged to join the clubs and organizations which recognize and celebrate our diverse community, including the Black Student Union, Latinas Lead, and UNITY Community. The leaders and members of these organizations host meetings, plan events, participate in Chicago Archdiocese Student Advisory Group for Racial Equity and Justice, and much more.

Professional Development

Professional Development for Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff were provided with professional development with the following goals:
-successful implementation of culturally responsive instructional techniques within the learning environment
-development of effective communication tools, shared language, and shared understanding of the student experience to enhance the sense of belonging within the school community

Student Clubs & Organizations

Black Student Union

The Black Student Union's primary objective is to empower and support our Black students. Our goal is to be a safe space to educate and inspire others about our race and culture. The Black Student Union supports the mission of Mother McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy because we will be one band, one sound as we unite in solidarity with all of our peers toward tackling the issue of racism, one of our Mercy Critical Concerns. One of the most important hallmarks of our club is inclusion - we want ALL students to join to promote positive racial relations and to enhance cultural awareness. By joining the BSU, you will form strong relationships with diverse peers, learn more about the Black race and culture, and work to empower our students and communities of color.

BSU Events

Black History Month All School Prayer Service
HBCU College Fair
Black Student Union and YADC Virtual Alumnae Panel
Chicago Archdiocese Student Advisory Group for Racial Equity and Justice
Young Women of Color Symposium

Latinas Lead

Latinas Lead is a club whose purpose is to bring unity within the Latino community around us. Our goal is to become a safe place where we can discuss and highlight issues, and also empower and support Latinas that walk the McAuley hallways. Latinas Lead will also be used as an educational platform where we can teach non-Latinas the importance and highlights of our culture. Latinas Lead is for everyone, and we want to encourage others, especially Latinas, to use their voices to speak and discuss issues like differences and challenges we all face.

Latinas Lead Events

Hispanic Heritage Month Closing Celebration Prayer Service & Breakfast
Latinas Lead Fiesta de Independencia

UNITY Community

This club strives to provide a gathering/discussion-based group that celebrates our differences. UNITY Community is for EVERYONE. Whether we are hosting a film fest, discussing an article on a current event or timely topic, learning a dance, or engaging in a service project, we are working together to promote diversity awareness and celebrate the rich traditions and heritages that are part of our Mother McAuley experience. 

UNITY Community Events

Our Lady of Guadalupe All School Prayer Service
Chicago Archdiocese Student Advisory Group for Racial Equity and Justice
Young Women of Color Symposium

Diversity, Equity & Belonging School News

Join us for Open House

Join us for Open House on Thursday, November 2 from 6:00-8:00pm! 

There will be presentations about academic programs, electives, athletics, financial aid, scholarships and transportation, You will also have a chance to meet students, athletes, coaches, teachers and administration. 

Learn More & Register Today!

ABC 7 visits Mother McAuley

WOW, it was a MIGHTY special morning on 99th Street! ABC 7's Terrell Brown sang Taylor Swift with Acapella, sipped Starbucks in the Kitty Mac Cafe, played volleyball with the State Champs, crowd-surfed with MacNation on our turf field, and officially became a Mighty Mac when he threw on the M costume himself.

Our girls truly showed ABC 7 what McAuley is all about, and we did it all before the sun came up!

In case you missed the live broadcast, be sure to check out a few highlights

Latinas Lead welcomes speaker

Ms. Clarisol Duque, the State Director of the Office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, met with our Latinas Lead last week! Our students were able to ask questions and gain insightful wisdom and we are so grateful! 

Q & A with alumna Sparkle Whitaker ‘18

This Black History Month, our Black Student Union and Alumnae Office partnered to create a Q&A series connecting students with notable Black alumnae. Our final interview is with Sparkle Whitaker ‘18!

Sparkle graduated from Mother McAuley in 2018 and continued on to Washington University in St. Louis. Sparkle currently works as a Business Technology Analyst for Deloitte and she is the founder and driving force behind two game-changing initiatives, "The Onyx Incubator" and "The Onyx Label."

Sparkle is a highly motivated and visionary interdisciplinary designer, using her skills in fashion design and creative writing to address societal issues and bring about meaningful change. She has been recognized for her dedication and impact in local news and other awards.

Q & A with alumna Jessica Jones '09

This Black History Month, our Black Student Union and Alumnae Office partnered to create a Q&A series connecting students with notable Black alumnae. Next up is Jessica Jones ‘09!

Jessica Jones graduated from Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in 2009. After McAuley, she attended the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 2013 with her Bachelor of Arts and her Masters in Education in 2015. She is currently working as a Senior Educator in the Education Department at the Museum of Science and Industry. In this role, Jessica provides professional development experiences for teachers and administrators throughout the Chicagoland area. She also works as adjunct faculty for the University of Notre Dame, Alliance for Catholic Education, teaching and mentoring aspiring and new classroom teachers.

Q & A with alumna Karen Spears '13

This Black History Month, our Black Student Union and Alumnae Office partnered to create a Q&A series connecting students with notable Black alumnae. Next up is Karen Spears ‘13

Karen Spears is a lettering artist, creative director, and founder of Kareracter Creative Studio, a creative firm specializing in hand-lettering and graphic design. In 2018, she was named Emerging Designer by the Professional Association of Design in Chicago, IL. Soho House recognized her as one of Chicago's Rising Stars in 2021, and more recently, she has been featured on WGN, WGN Radio, NBC, Fox, and WTTW.

Q & A with alumna Nikki Jennings '88

This Black History Month, our Black Student Union and Alumnae Office partnered to create a Q&A series connecting students with notable Black alumnae. First up is Nikki Jennings ‘88!

Nikki is a leader in the Entertainment and Marketing industry and has a passion for marketing, live events, branding, consumer engagement, TV event production logistics, project and talent management. She is committed and has a strong desire to help aspiring young adults seeking a career in the marketing and entertainment industry, and we are so grateful for the wisdom she shared with our Mighty Macs!

Black Student Union hosts Black History Month Prayer Service

Thank you to our Black Student Union for hosting our Black History Month Prayer Service this morning! The all school service was filled with community, prayer, reflection, dance, music and stories.

A special thanks to alumnae speaker, Maya Nunn ‘16, for her reflection on coming home.

We are proud and grateful to celebrate our students.

Macs with Mercy program

This year we began a new program with our neighbors at Mercy Circle, Macs with Mercy. Each month, one of our clubs or organizations gathers with the residents at Mercy Circle and to do an activity. So far our Student Government, Black Student Union and Science National Honor Society have participated.

Black Student Union hosts Cultural Spotlight Panel

The Black Student Union hosted a Cultural Spotlight Panel during lunch periods today. Student panelists shared their culture, ethnicity and heritage through conversation with peers. discussing and learning about diversity within our McAuley community. Thank you to our Black Student Union for hosting the wonderful event!

Celebrating All Saints' Day with Mass

Today we gathered for our All Saints’ Day Mass. Students Arianna, Andrea, Gianna, Ndeye, and Irsa said our petitions in English, Spanish, Polish, French and Urdu. We remember the souls who have gone before and we all grieve and celebrate together.

Hispanic Heritage Month Closing Prayer Service

To close out our Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, students who are part of Latinas Lead, UNITY Community, and our National Spanish Honor Society, planned a prayer service and breakfast before school on October 13.

Kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

We kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month with the Latinas Lead Fiesta de Independencia!

Thank you to our Latinas Lead club for hosting this event and teaching us the History of Mexican Independence Day.

We are so excited to continue our Hispanic Heritage celebrations throughout the month!

Young Women of Color Symposium

Members of the Black Student Union, Latinas Lead, and UNITY attended the Young Women of Color Symposium this weekend at Loyola Academy. The theme this year was Unapologetically Me.

Black History Month Alumna Interview: Maya Nunn '16

Maya Nunn graduated from Mother McAuley in 2016. After her graduation at McAuley, Maya studied at the University of Missouri, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish. She received her Master’s in Sports and Entertainment Promotion from the University of Houston, and currently works as an Account Executive for a public relations firm.

Watch part of Maya's interview here!

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Members of the UNITY Community club encouraged students to create paper lanterns today during lunch to celebrate the Chinese New Year. One way that the Chinese New Year is celebrated is with a Lantern Festival. It honors deceased ancestors on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar (new year) calendar. The Lantern Festival aims to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness. These lanterns will be displayed in the Dining Hall.

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 2021

Our Unity Community members organized various events and activities to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, including Lotería at lunch, Open Mics, Dance Class, Live Music and more! We had so much fun throughout the month. Thank you to those who organized and to all who participated!

Black History Month Celebration 2021

As part of our February Black History Month Celebration, the Black Student Union (BSU) collaborated with our Alumnae Office to create four short videos highlighting a different McAuley alumna each week during homeroom.