Deborale Richardson-Phillips, Ph.D, Named Next Loyola High School President

Deborale Richardson-Phillips speaks on the main stage of 2021 IFTJ

BY ISN STAFF | May 23rd, 2024

The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is thrilled to celebrate the announcement of Deborale Richardson-Phillips, Ph.D, PHR as the new president of Loyola High School in Detroit beginning on July 1st, 2024. Dr. Richardson-Phillips will serve as the school’s seventh president since its founding in 1993, and will be the school’s first female and first African-American president. She has served on the ISN board of directors since 2022 and played a significant role in ISN’s strategic planning process in 2023.

Dr. Richardson-Phillips has been involved with equity work in various professional roles at higher education institutions and in the corporate world. Since 2019, Dr. Richardson-Phillips has served as St. Ignatius High School’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In this role, she has collaborated with the entire school community to align the school’s Jesuit principles with a vision for equity and inclusion. She presented a clear path of how educators could institute DEI work at their respective Jesuit schools at the 2020 virtual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ). Reiterating the message of her workshop, she joined ISN’s Just Conversations podcast to exhort leaders at Jesuit institutions regarding equity work. “If you are a president or are on a board, you’ve got to support the practitioner [of DEI work] in this space, you’ve got to allow them a voice at the table. If [leaders presenting marginalized perspectives] are not passionate about it, if they do not really believe in the necessity of the work, then so much gets lost in translation, and this work feels like an option rather than a commitment.”

Deborale Richardson-Phillips speaks on the main stage of 2021 IFTJ

Deborale Richardson-Phillips, Ph.D., speaks on the main stage of 2021 IFTJ.

At IFTJ in 2021, Dr. Richardson-Phillips rallied the participants on the main stage with a talk on calling or vocation. She encouraged all in attendance, regardless of age or experience, to listen to their call, saying, “God is grooming you to heal a hurting world, reconcile broken communities, and work for peace and justice. In case you didn’t know, you’re here to create relationships. You’re here to create a support system. You are not here by accident, so please take advantage of this moment.” Living out those words herself, Dr. Richardson-Phillips responded to her appointment as Loyola High School’s next president, saying, “I have dedicated my career to putting people and relationships first and have found that doing so leads to better outcomes. This is the same approach I will take as Loyola president.”

In Dr. Richardson-Phillips, Loyola High School is welcoming an incredible Ignatian leader whose commitment to creating inclusive environments and cultures is steeped in mission. ISN is grateful that the Ignatian family will continue reaping the benefits of Dr. Richardson-Phillips’ knowledge and gifts.

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