Mercy Welcomes Dee Watson, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Deaunna “Dee” Watson is excited to join Mercy Montessori as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). Dee is the first elementary school DEI director within the Mercy Education system of 55 schools around the globe. This Director position is new to Mercy, created in 2022 by the DEIB committee as part of the school’s strategic plan. Ms. Watson will work to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion at school so that all those who are part of the Mercy community feel a sense of belonging.
An educator at heart, Dee uses creativity, transformative leadership, and a results-oriented attitude to help organizations achieve a variety of goals. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Adolescent Young Adult Education and a Master’s Degree in Community and Cultural Wellness, Dee is an expert learning facilitator, experience-designer, and visionary leader. Dee shares that she “believes deeply that we must collaborate with communities through the lens of DEIB to truly achieve the outcomes all people deserve in order to thrive in today’s society.”
Dee’s approach to DEIB is informed by her experience as a DEI Mentor for startups and small businesses, a fellowship with the National Equity Project, and serving as a Director of Family & Community Engagement at Citizens of the World Charter School. Through this work, Dee has provided services that build culture, conditions, and competencies for excellence and equity in districts, organizations, foundations, and communities. Honoring and centering the human experience is the heartbeat of Dee’s work.
“Mercy Montessori is thrilled that Dee is joining our team,” shared principal Patty Normile. “Our DEIB principles, that Dee will oversee, orbit around the dignity of the human person, our rights and responsibilities to the community, and the promotion of justice. We know that she will help our community continue to thrive through her relationship-driven work with our students, staff, and committees.”
Mercy’s DEIB project is directly aligned with the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concern of Racism. Mercy was grateful to receive a 2023-2024 Mercy Fund for Ministry Grant in the amount of $40,000.00 to support our Anti-Racism: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Program. We know these funds will help move this important work forward and we are grateful to the Board of Directors of the Mercy Ministry Corporation for approving this generous contribution.