Students walking on campus in fall

Mission, Equity, and Inclusion

Advancing Our Catholic and Vincentian Commitment to Social Justice

Page last updated 9/7/2022

The committee goals listed here, as well as action items for each goal, are considered to be in progress and may be updated, deleted, and/or revised.

Committee Goals

Goal 1: Affirm the full dignity and humanity of all persons by prioritizing social justice, diversity, belonging, equity, and inclusion.

  1. We will remain faithful to our mission as a Catholic and Vincentian University as we advance antiracism in all of our endeavors, ensuring that social justice, diversity, belonging, equity, and inclusion are priorities in all we do and who we are. This commitment will guide our efforts against all forms of systemic and intersecting oppression and marginalization.
  2. We will provide meaningful opportunities for members of the St. John’s community to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion on and off our campus in the light of the Vincentian charism.
  3. We will foster an environment where racism is not tolerated and all are welcomed.
  4. We will foster a community of transparency with respect to St. John’s institutional understanding of, commitment to, and progress toward diversity, equity, and inclusion to internal and external constituencies, including our responses to bias incidents, Title IX and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action incidents.
  5. We will dedicate the resources needed to become an even more accessible campus, with specific attention to our facilities, online presence, and academic materials.
  6. We will support greater collaboration between student and employee organizations to increase awareness of and respect for our many diverse histories and heritages.
  7. We will chronicle diversity, equity, and inclusion milestones, surveys, action plans, listening sessions, and task force recommendations in a central repository that can be accessed by all community members.
  8. We will devote resources to recognizing and supporting the mental health and wellness needs of our diverse university community, developing a culture of care.

Goal 2: Consistent with our Catholic commitment to the common good, we will create and sustain an inclusive and diverse workforce.

  1. We will clearly demonstrate our University’s efforts to advance social justice, diversity, belonging, equity, and inclusion in our recruitment and retention practices, policies, and strategies, for all groups of employees (e.g., full-time, part-time, subcontracted, and temporary). This will include making the necessary equitable investments and prioritizing resources to support these strategies.
  2. We will increase diversity from racially and ethnically underrepresented groups among our faculty, administrators, and staff through hiring and retention strategies. This will include making the necessary equitable investments and prioritizing resources to support these strategies.
  3. We will conduct a comprehensive review of recruitment, hiring, employment, and promotion policies to ensure alignment with the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and, we will advance our commitment to antiracism through various practices.
  4. We will foster a workplace culture of respect for all of our employees, empowering them to contribute to the advancement of our University’s mission.
  5. We will make social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion criteria for evaluating employee and faculty performance during regular reviews.

Goal 3: Cultivate free and critical inquiry with intellectual humility that supports our mission statement’s commitment to “academic excellence and the pursuit of wisdom, which flows from free inquiry, religious values, and human experience.”

  1. We will dedicate ourselves to fulfilling this pledge in our curriculum, workspaces, programs, policies, and practices.
  2. We will regularly communicate and reinforce University policies that protect religious freedom and the ability to learn and work in environments free of bias, hate, and discrimination.
  3. We will create opportunities for dialogue, training, and service that connect Catholic Social Teaching, global Catholic intellectual traditions, the Vincentian charism, and spirituality as they contribute to antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  4. We will educate our community on the Catholic and Vincentian history of social justice engagement and create learning and service opportunities to support current efforts to eradicate systemic oppression on our campuses, in our nation, and around the world.
  5. We will support and recognize our Schools and Colleges, deans, and academic departments in their efforts to increase the domestic and international diversity of their work.

Goal 4: As a Catholic and Vincentian University, we will be known worldwide for addressing issues of poverty and social justice, and therefore, will develop and implement social justice policies, practices, research, and tools to dismantle oppression and address poverty.

  1. We will commit ourselves to develop tools for dismantling oppression in our classrooms, workplaces, and community, as we answer Pope Francis’s call to become a University “where solutions for civil and cultural progress…are pursued with perseverance and professionalism.”
  2. We will equip our students to excel in the competencies and values required for leadership and service in a rapidly evolving global and diverse community.
  3. We will honor our Vincentian commitment to recognize Christ in people who are poor and marginalized, collaborating with internal and external partners at home and abroad to identify tools and best practices to combat poverty and to advance equity, inclusion, and antiracism on campus and in the community, seeking funding that supports and expands our efforts.
  4. We will create equitable systems that support, reward, and promote research, teaching, and service-learning projects at the undergraduate and graduate levels that work with communities to develop concrete methods for combating systemic inequities worldwide.
  5. We will implement a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Dashboard that sets metrics for assessing the progress of our efforts at every level, ensuring that DEI assessment efforts include all members of the University community.
  6. We will ensure that our DEI infrastructure is adequately resourced with both financial and human capital.

Goal 5: Embed global perspectives, partnerships, and support into the teaching, learning, and research environment of St. John’s.

  1. We will ensure that students graduate with a clear sense of their responsibility to the world community by incorporating intercultural competencies, perspectives, and experiences into our educational and co-curricular offerings, including study abroad experiences.
  2. We will empower faculty to engage in research that addresses complex questions by taking advantage of our partnerships with institutions around the world.
  3. We will conduct an intercultural competency assessment to measure students’ baseline cross-cultural skill levels and accurately determine appropriate steps to enhance them.
  4. We will formalize and increase “internationalization at home” opportunities for students by engaging the varying perspectives, experiences, values, and knowledge of our local communities and providing faculty with resources for incorporating global competencies into their courses.
  5. We will support an increasingly diverse group of international scholars and students through targeted programming.
  6. We will expand study abroad opportunities for students independent of means, social identities, disability status, and discipline as we expand the range of our locations beyond Western Europe and offer various program lengths.