Carmel Catholic High School has always prided itself on being a place where all students can feel comfortable in their own skin, no matter their color, race, or cultural identification. The opening of a newly-constructed Multicultural Center on April 30, 2021 furthers the school’s mission, while providing an area for students to congregate, socialize, learn, and exist in an environment that values who they are.
In a time when diversity, equity and inclusion—or lack thereof— are making headlines every day, the timing is perfect for the Multicultural Center and mirrors what universities across the country are using to bring their student bodies closer together.
The center will be open to all students and will serve as an inclusive place where students can feel welcome, safe, and respected. In addition, a wealth of programming will be created to introduce students to different cultures, ethnicities, and religions, allowing them to learn about their differences as well as what makes them the same.
“I don’t want people to think that this is just a minority lounge,” explains Center Director Andrea Fitzpatrick. “The need for our center is now more than ever. It’s important that students feel they belong at Carmel, that they have something to contribute, and that we can all work together to make our school a welcoming, inclusive environment.”
The program was launched in early January 2021 and construction began shortly thereafter. It featured two existing rooms being made into one by knocking down an adjoining wall. Modeled after many collegiate multi-cultural centers, programs will include guest speakers, social programming, advocacy for certain needs within the community and incorporating community service opportunities.
“A plethora of programs and initiatives promises to bring the Carmel community even closer together and will celebrate our diversity and provide health and wellness for our kids,” said President Brad Bonham, who noted that the school is committed to continuous improvement in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. “There’s always been a need for this center and it’s been long overdue. Now, more than ever, our students need a place like this.”