Idaho Dispatch

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St. Al’s Document Asks Employees to Read “White Fragility” and Participate in 21-Day “Connecting Together” Challenge

By • July 16, 2020

An employee of Saint Al’s healthcare system has leaked a document to the public that details a challenge to employees.

The challenge began on July 6th and is running for 21 days.

According to the document we obtained, it says,

As we conclude the Diversity and Inclusion Uniting Together webinar series, we invite you to participate in an exciting experience to deepen our work in this area further.

The document then lists 21 ways Saint Alphonsus says employees can learn about racism and inclusivity in America. 

Who sent out the document to Saint Al’s employees? President and CEO Odette Bolano is listed as one of the individuals. The other is Regional Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Gayla Thomas-Dabney.

So, what are some of the ways in which Saint Als wants to challenge its employees?

One suggestion that may cause some controversy is a recommendation on Day 1 to pick “White Fragility” as a book to read. The author of the book is Robin DiAngelo.

A number of conservative commentators, primarily Ben Shapiro, have blasted the book as false and full of errors. Shapiro recently released a video detailing seven ways that he believes the book is “awful” and false. Shapiro also claims that a number of liberals have spoken out against the book as well.

You can watch his rebuttal to the book in the video below.

Supporters of the book say it is a good way for white people to understand the real race issues in America. They also argue that the book helps white people understand how they are playing a part in racism in America.

The document also asks employees to watch a movie on Netflix or other platforms under the “Black Lives Matter series.” In recent weeks, many online platforms like Amazon have set aside special categories for viewers that contain movies specific to “black history” or “black lives matter.”

On Day 12 for instance, the document challenges employees to watch “The Hate You Give” on Netflix. The movie is a fictional story that depicts an unarmed black teenager being shot and killed by police and the subsequent efforts by a young black girl to bring justice to the police officer who killed him.

In addition to that challenge, employees are asked to reach out to someone of a different race, visit a museum such as an African-American museum, listen to a podcast about inclusiveness, read a book called “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation’s Divide,” and to take note of different ethnicities and races in your neighborhood.

Several employees of Saint Alphonsus, including one who leaked the document, sent us quotes about the challenge.

One employee, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution told Idaho Dispatch,

While I support the sentiment of black lives matter, the founders of the organization Black Lives Matter are on record as being trained Marxists. Having the organization being pushed by a health system this large is worrisome in regards to the agenda of both St Alphonsus health and the Marxist organization of BLM. The similarities to the Student revolution that lead to Maoist China are alarming. More alarming is the complacence of conservatives and the push from leftist media outlasts, companies, and organizations like BLM and ANTIFA.

To many colleagues, it feels like Trinity Health and St Alphonsus are announcing to us that we can and will be terminated for anything that isn’t in lockstep with their ideology or agenda. We aren’t being shouted down, we are simply being threatened with loss of the livelihood that provides for our families in jobs we have dedicated many years and significant money to be qualified for. Im not interested in reading ‘White Fragility’ a book that is racist towards white people, nor am I interested in watching BLM videos in my home and I’m not ok with Saint Alphonsus pushing that agenda on dedicated colleagues who give exceptional care regardless of race. As an organization, we are better than this!

Another employee, who also wished to speak on condition of anonymity, said this about the 21-day challenge,

Before this, we were starting to implement and had much emphasis on cultural diversity prior to the current challenge that is bringing/creating more biases between race, religion, culture, as well as many other biases.

I feel as a healthcare system we should be neutral and not engage one side or the other. If we start down that path it will lead us to place we shouldn’t be. We need to be respectful to each and every individual without devaluing the individual. Every individual’s life matters and should be as they are part of making up our community and we need to work together not against.

We also reached out to Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation to get his reaction to the document. Hoffman and his organization have been outspoken critics of Boise State’s inclusivity programs.

Here is Mr. Hoffman’s response to the 21-Day challenge by Saint Als,

It would be really nice if St. Al’s spent its time (and its taxpayer-supported resources) focused on reducing medical costs and increasing access to patient care instead of projecting the false narrative that Idahoans are bigots.

Hoffman also criticized the recommendation of the “White Fragility” book and told Idaho Dispatch,

Yet another local institution teaching the gospel of intolerance. It’s the same book that BSU commanded staff to read as part of their “diversity” training.

We reached out and spoke with a Saint Alphonsus media relations individual who told us that the challenge is real and that it was voluntary. She also informed us that she would forward our request for an official statement to someone higher up in the company.

As of this writing, we do not have an official response back from Saint Alphonsus but will update the article with their statement when one is given to us.

It is unclear how many of Saint Al’s employees are going to be taking the challenge or how many employees feel the same way about the challenge as the two employees we spoke to did.

Below you can see the full text of the document and the challenges issued for the employees for all 21 days.


Tags: 21-Day Challenge, Black Lives Matter, Saint Alphonsus

11 thoughts on “St. Al’s Document Asks Employees to Read “White Fragility” and Participate in 21-Day “Connecting Together” Challenge

  1. My challenge to Saint Al’s: Come up with a medical procedure that corrects a Recto-Cranial Insertion. This is what you al are suffering from.

  2. Shame on St. Al’s management for swallowing this garbage being forced down citizens’ throats. Call it ‘socialism’ or ‘marxism’ or ‘maoism’…it all boils down to COMMUNISM! All citizens must come together as AMERICANS, not race or gender groups. Race baiting is today’s calling card of communism, which has eaten away at our children from early school years through university. And, now St. Al’s and other weak minded businesses are being beaten into submission by the true racists like Robin Diangelo, BLM, and the like. Disgusting!!! St. Al’s get some guts and put your employees to the task of providing better healthcare services…something that our community really needs now…or change your name so that you don’t soil the name of Saint Alphonsus.

    ALL AMERICANS (regardless of color, gender or ethnicity) must work to improve themselves first and then offer helping hands to our neighbors. There has been plenty of dollars and special programs thrown out to the ‘less fortunate’ among us…but they have to be willing to step up and do the hard work, just like everyone else!

  3. We have used the services of St. Al’s for a long time now and that is going to change. Maybe this explains why Dr. Shevlin was so mean to my white child and why when I complained and was told they would call me back THEY NEVER DID. If St. Lukes can keep its head out of very dark places, then it should gain a tremendous amount of patients…the white one s that St. Al’s is going to lose. Stupid is as stupid does.

  4. My challenge to St. Al’s:

    Take your political correctness, “white fragility”, racism, and communist commissar interference in employees’ lives and stick up yonder.

  5. “White Fragility” is a plague upon rational thinking adults. It furthers the already cavernous racial divide in America and I’m disgusted by the thought those in charge of St. Al’s think this is a good idea. Encourage employees to treat each other as individuals, and with respect, and leave the “woke culture” garbage to Antifa and Social Justice Warriors.

  6. This is racist programming. It’s also a hostile work environment. Employees who oppose this should sue.

  7. Isn’t it against HR policy to make someone feel ashamed of their skin color? I am to be ashamed because I am white? The real racist is at the helm of St. Al’s: Odette Bolano.

  8. Really Odette, you personally know of racial problem with someone in your group of managers, several complaints were made to HR , and to you personally and nothing has been done. You are a complete hypocrite, you are the one that needs the book, your people brought the situation to light ,and nothing has been done as usual when it comes to you if it does not make you look good.

  9. I simply don’t trust anyone who is anti Trump.
    The hospitals across the nation have been caught manipulating numbers because they get money from the federal government for the cases involving COVID. This post about the 21 Day challenge doesn’t come as a surprise. Disappointed though.

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