New Faculty and Staff Spotlight: JCA Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ms. Kisha Cameron

Joliet Catholic Academy president/principal Dr. Jeffrey Budz was pleased to announce the hiring of Ms. Kisha Cameron to the newly created Director of Diversity and Inclusion office for the 2020-2021 school year. Ms. Cameron works closely with the Counseling Department, Deans Office, and Admissions Office at JCA providing a resource for both students and faculty alike on campus.

Dr. Budz said, “We are excited to have a Director of Diversity on campus each day working with the JCA community expanding our awareness of one another’s cultures and beliefs. I am equally excited to have Ms. Cameron as a leader and resource concentrating on all topics and issues, working hand-in-hand with our JCA family.”


Ms. Kisha Cameron

Cameron is no stranger to Joliet Catholic Academy, having served as an assistant volleyball coach in the girls’ and boys’ programs over the past three years. She’s wasted no time in making an impact on campus at JCA, despite the challenges of hybrid learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Cameron helped create a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, working with current students and alumni from St. Francis Academy, Joliet Catholic High School, and Joliet Catholic Academy, and consultant Troy Cicero of MulticultuReal Communications to create a JCA Diversity Statement:

“Inspired by our Catholic faith, JCA boldly embraces the challenge to create a culture of acceptance that celebrates differences and upholds justice for all.”

Ms. Cameron, along with JCA campus minister Missy Ferro, serves as a liaison for Joliet Catholic Academy to the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate’s Anti-Racism Committee (ARC). She currently serves as a board member and presents at various workshops with ARC across the Diocese of Joliet. The ARC was formed in 2012 by the Joliet Franciscans, co-sponsors of JCA, recognizing that “racism is a sin that divides human family, blocks out the image of God among specific members of that family and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father” (Brothers and Sisters to Us, Pastoral of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1979). The ARC organizes presentations and educational opportunities for its member institutions such as the University of St. Francis, The Arusi Network, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Joliet, Joliet Franciscan Center, One Collective, House of Prayer, and the Joliet Franciscans.

During the fall 2020 semester at JCA, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has conducted cultural awareness surveys for staff/faculty and students, presented to all classes at back-to-school orientation, led classroom discussions for various classes requested by faculty, developed staff/faculty training on “Microagressions and managing difficult conversations in the classroom”, participated in the Accepting Cultural Diversity Club (ACDC), and assisted the dean’s office and counseling department.

Anya Covington, of Human2Human, a recent presenter to the JCA faculty and staff, said, “LaKisha Cameron and I had the amazing opportunity to lead the staff in our first of many trainings beginning with the cause and effects of  Microaggressions, which showed immediate results of understanding and impact amongst the staff and faculty…Ms. Cameron and JCA are leaders in changing the climate of (schools) and the surrounding community through a biblical and educational focus.”

Cameron is also beginning to work closely with JCA admissions director Ryan Quigley on public policies pertaining to school choice like the Future of Illinois Coalition and the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship program, which funds scholarships through Empower Illinois, JCA’s Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The Invest in Kids Act, which provides scholarships to low-income and working-class students to attend private schools, passed as part of Illinois’ historic legislation reforms to its education funding formula in 2017. The reforms contained in the Invest in Kids Act have increased public school funding for lower-income students by more than $1 billion and generated more than $138 million in private funding for lower-income students attending private schools. JCA, which has awarded over $438,00 in scholarships over the past three school years via Tax Credit Scholarships, is committed to advancing new educational pathways through Empower Illinois for students from low-income and working-class families for success in college and career, paving the way to a bright future.

Cameron, a native of Topeka, Kansas, graduated from the University of Illinois-Springfield, where she played collegiate volleyball and received a B.A. in Psychology. From there, she continued her education and completed her M.A. in Professional Counseling at Argosy University.  Her work experience includes a variety of experiences including years of providing crisis and trauma informed counseling, substance abuse and addiction treatment, individual and family counseling, and victim advocacy. She spent nine years as a head women’s collegiate volleyball coach at Joliet Junior College, assistant women’s volleyball coach at Harper College, and has also coached for eleven years in the boys’ and girls’ programs for Ultimate Volleyball Club and Sports Performance Volleyball Club.

Cameron said, “This position is something that I wholeheartedly believe in and am very passionate about. I’m blessed to be a part of such a phenomenal institution that is actively committed to supporting their students and staff within a changing society. This environment could not have been created without supreme leadership from a dynamic and dedicated staff.”

To learn more about JCA’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion visit

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