Ms. Landry created The Authentic Voice Thought Talk to open dialogue and share perspectives between herself and parents in a direct and dynamic environment.
“As our communication increasingly relies on digitized forums, we are connecting less and less in humanistic, face-to-face interaction – and that’s true for our students and our parents,” Ms. Landry said. “A discussion series is a great way for me to connect, live and in person, with parents, where we can share our experiences and empathy – and, together, pass it on to our girls.”
Intentional in format, each Authentic Voice event will be limited in space so parents can have candid conversations about relevant topics with Ms. Landry.
For the first forum, titled “Understanding the Adolescent Journey in an Era of Social Media,” over 20 mothers of current Marymount students joined Ms. Landry to explore the joys and challenges of supporting young women in our digital world.
Opening the discussion, Ms. Landry asked the group if, given the choice, they would want their child to be successful, happy, or kind.
“Most parents would say ‘happy,’ but if you were to ask your daughters, they would say ‘successful,’” Ms. Landry said. “How do we change the narrative so that our children know that our number one priority is for them to live a content life?”
Marymount mothers asked Ms. Landry questions and shared insights from personal experiences as they untangled the intricacies of being parents of teenage girls.
Prior to her headship at Marymount, Ms. Landry spent 25 years in higher education at Georgetown University, the University of Minnesota, and Harvard University. At Harvard, she served as chaplain for 11 years and president of the United Ministry, an organization that represents world religions. She received her Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, and her Merrill Fellowship from Harvard Divinity School. She is currently working on her book on the importance of adolescent spirituality.
Drawing on her academic research about the pioneers of women’s Catholic education, Ms. Landry also read from the original writings of the Religious of Sacred Heart of Mary’s (RSHM) founder, Fr. Jean Gailhac, who dedicated his life to creating Marymount’s founding order of nuns.
“It’s amazing how relevant Fr. Gailhac’s ethos are today,” Ms. Landry said. “What we call ‘social-emotional learning’ now is what he championed all those years ago. He was an authentic thought leader of his time, and every Marymount girl has and will benefit from the principles of his superhuman work.”