Our community is one that values inclusion and welcome. The Kildare Ministries Living Justice Living Peace Charter challenges us to break down the barriers that separate people and embrace the marginalised. We are asked ‘who needs to be clearly seen and listened to?’
Often diversity and difference creates barriers or fear that places people on the margins rather than recognising the dignity of each human person.
The experience of being on the margins can be found in the poor, the oppressed, the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers, those with mental health struggles, First Nations peoples and victims of domestic violence. We also know that gender and sexual diversity can place people on the edges of our communities. Our College community, inspired by our Brigidine tradition, has always sought to walk with those on the margins even when it may not have been popular.
One of the projects that we have been working on in between lockdowns and COVID issues is the Purple Door Project. Our student leaders have shown a strong interest in this project and we are excited to introduce the Clonard Purple Door to you. This project came out of Wear it Purple day in August and we would have loved to bring it to you sooner however we really wanted our student leaders to be involved in the painting of the door. The Wear it Purple website identifies the following as a key purpose for it’s establishment.
Wear it Purple was founded in 2010 in response to global stories of real teenagers, real heartache and their very real responses. In 2010, several rainbow young people took their own lives following bullying and harassment resulting from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity.
The Purple Door is one strategy the College is engaged in to demonstrate our commitment to walking in partnership and building inclusion for our LGBTIQA+ students, staff, families and wider community. Other work in this area is the development of a KEM wide statement for all schools to guide us in this area, a school based diversity and inclusion working group to address a wide range of issues and our work as a Respectful relationships lead school. The National Childsafe Standards also require us to be active in supporting young people who identify as LGBTIQA+. We chose the analogy of the purple door to demonstrate a commitment for us to open the door to conversation, walk together on the journey of discovery and be open to the learnings this brings. Our plan is the Purple Door becomes a symbol of the beginning of this journey and will be a feature around the school in years to come. We look forward to bringing you more news of our work in this space.