Today and every day we stand as brothers and sisters of Notre Dame High School and beyond, engulfed in the compassion and presence of God as we sing, pray, and celebrate in the Good News and unity of His glory. -- Former Club Presidents, Azzeiza Beadle ‘17 and Jahmai Person ‘17
In September 2015, the African American Club was re-established with 24 members. The Club members began to talk about issues that were impacting their lives at Notre Dame, in their communities, and in our nation. They planned a Day of Retreat in the spring of 2016 and Dr. Dwayne Proctor, Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the NAACP, was the keynote speaker; Dr. Proctor continues to serve as an advisor, friend, and mentor to the SHADES Club. At the retreat, the students developed four goals for the club:
1. to begin a dialogue with faculty and students, 2. to become more involved in student life and to become leaders at Notre Dame, 3. to create opportunities to share the unique histories, gifts, talents, and culture of the minority students in the club during Black History Month and throughout the year, and 4. to organize weekly club meetings, an annual retreat open to all students, a liturgy to celebrate diversity and inclusion at Notre Dame, and a school-wide service project.
At club retreats, liturgies, and meetings, it became apparent that the students in the club represented more than 25 different countries and ethnic backgrounds. Recognizing this rich diversity of cultures, ethnicities, identities, and “shades,” during the liturgy celebrating Black History Month in February 2017, the African American Club was officially renamed the SHADES Club. In announcing the change, Club Presidents Azzeiza Beadle and Jahmai Person said, “We should pursue hope by opening our hearts with love to those around us. Love starts within each one of us so let us all go out and tell someone today that you love them, appreciate them, and enjoy their presence. Today and every day we stand as brothers and sisters of Notre Dame High School and beyond, engulfed in the compassion and presence of God as we sing, pray, and celebrate in the Good News and unity of His glory.”
Located on 100 beautiful acres in Central New Jersey, Notre Dame High School, founded in 1957, is a college preparatory school for grades 9 - 12, preparing young men and women for lives of purpose, built upon a foundation of Catholic faith, with a commitment to academics, co-curricular activities and service to others.