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Bellarmine Explores Gender as Human Dignity Justice Topic

Brandi Chastain addresses the Bellarmine community at its Justice Summit assembly. (photo by Sheila Collison).

Bellarmine College Preparatory is exploring the topic of gender as its year-long Summit on Human Dignity, the focus of the school’s justice assembly and breakout sessions held during the week of January 28. 

The assembly keynote speaker was 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.  “Bellarmine is an important community of who you will be 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.” 

Among the goals of Bellarmine’s justice summit on gender throughout the school year are: to describe how social institutions and power structures create gender expectations, identify subtle or invisible ways in which gender bias and sexism prevent respect for human dignity, engage in compassionate conversation around gender with peers who have different experiences and views, and reflect on God’s call for justice and act accordingly to promote gender equity and inclusion.

The more than two dozen breakout session topics discussed during summit week 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 justice theme 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.