Our students walk in the footsteps of our founders, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who stood firm in their convictions, as they continue to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sister Patrice Underwood represented the IHMs when she marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 1965 Civil Rights March in Selma, Alabama.
Decades later, as an IH senior Cleo Riley, Class of 2021, organized Students for Floyd, a youth group – 1500 strong – that promoted racial justice through peaceful protests in Los Angeles following the 2020 police murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Students continue to honor Dr. King’s dream by embracing their own, including marching in the 2019 Kingdom Parade.
Our students venture beyond their comfort zone to gain a better understanding of racial injustice and economic inequities. For insight about the root causes of homelessness in Los Angeles, for example, eighth graders participate in immersive field trips where they distribute water to the unhoused, hear firsthand accounts, and learn more about nonprofits and others working on the issues of the unhoused.
Recently, a group of middle school faculty and students followed in Dr. King’s footsteps by crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama – just one stop in an impactful tour offered by Tzedek America of Civil Rights memorials, landmarks and museums in the South.
Each year, our high school students also attend Close Up, the educational program in Washington, D.C., that brings students together from across the country to experience history and government, consider a variety of viewpoints on important current issues, and build the skills of engaged citizenship.
Our Catholic identity is rooted in social justice and service, bringing students in regular contact with the underserved and the marginalized. For example, students prepare breakfast each month for the unhoused at the downtown St. Francis Center.
Recently, our high school students partnered with Homeboy Industries for its annual Christmas Carnival by collecting toys, games and gift cards for distribution at the event.
More than 100 middle school students and their families also delivered presents and food to needy families downtown for the annual Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays program. Each year the combined community service efforts of our students total more than 14,000 hours.
Juniors in the Contemporary Moral Issues class also stage an annual Justice Fair. This year’s event raised more than $3000 that was split evenly between four charities.
At Immaculate Heart, we teach our students not only to learn history, but to be part of it as women of great heart and right conscience so that they can become the light that will dispel darkness.