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Office of Equity and Inclusion

About The Office of Equity and Inclusion

The mission of the St. John’s University Equity and Inclusion Council (the “Council”) aligns with our University’s mission and core values: to promote an academically enriching and supportive climate that allows all members of our community to thrive and succeed. The Council recommends institutional policy and practice changes needed to create an equitable and inclusive learning, living, and working environment. 

We aspire to become the national model of inclusive excellence.

Report Bias Values and Inclusion Program

Reporting to the Chief Diversity Officer, the Office of Equity and Inclusion encompasses the Equity and Inclusion Council, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Inclusivity Resource Center, Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion, and RESPECT.

University Inclusivity Statement

A dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the heart of our mission. As a Catholic and Vincentian university, St. John’s is committed to institutionalizing practices of inclusive excellence to ensure that we welcome and celebrate the intrinsic worth of all members of our community.

We will become an even stronger University as we enhance equity at every level of our institution. As noted in our Vision Statement, our graduates will excel in the competencies and values required for leadership and service in a rapidly evolving world.

Equity and Inclusion Council

The Equity and Inclusion Council is the result of a merger of the Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion and the President’s Multicultural Advisory Committee. The Council’s charges are the same as those given to the Task Force: (i) ensure that the training for staff and administrators and the professional development opportunities for faculty are sufficiently robust in the areas of diversity and inclusion, (ii) recruit and retain faculty, administrators, and staff from historically underrepresented groups, (iii) advocate for diversity and inclusion to be embedded in curricula, working closely with the University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) and with relevant department/college curriculum committees for major course of study curricula, and (iv) foster a more inclusive campus climate. The Council is co-chaired by Nada M. Llewellyn, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Chief Diversity Officer, and Deputy General Counsel; and Manouchkathe Cassagnol, Pharm.D., Associate Clinical Professor, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Please click here for additional information on the council.  

Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)

Now located within the Department of Equity and Inclusion, the OMA will launch a new student intergroup dialogue program and offer student identity-based support and discussion groups this Fall. OMA will continue to run the following critically important programs: Diversity Peer Educators, Project AIM and the Asian Alliance. Please click here for additional information on the OMA. 

Inclusivity Resource Center

The Inclusivity Resource Center (IRC) was created to provide students with resources to assist in authentic and informed peer dialogue on topics of equity and inclusion. The IRC will provide social justice training for students, host equity and inclusion themed workshops, and through a collaboration with the Center for Counseling and Consultation, offer the services of a mental health counselor for both individual counseling and group programming. The Office of Multicultural Affairs’ student programming opportunities will also operate out of the IRC.  

Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion (ACEI)

Dr. Cassagnol is the Director of the ACEI, which reports to the Vice Provost for Academic Support Services.  The ACEI also has dotted line reporting to the Department of Equity and Inclusion. More information about the ACEI can be found here.

Respond and Partner to Engage our Community Team (RESPECT)

RESPECT is the University’s bias response team.  It comprises students, faculty, staff, and administrators who voluntarily serve to provide direct support to any individual impacted by prejudice-based aggression.  This may include providing assistance with reporting bias, guidance through the investigative process, and access to safety and support resources.  When appropriate, it may also include facilitating restorative conversations between affected parties to promote healing and learning outcomes.

University LGBTQ+ Resources

Find information on courses, friendly faculty/administration members, our preferred pronoun policy, and other resources on our website.


    HR Specialists

    Within the Office of Human Resources, the following positions play a key role in pushing forward the University’s inclusivity initiatives:

    • Keaton Wong, Director of Equal Opportunity, Compliance and Title IX Coordinator, oversees all bias complaints. For additional information, please click here.
    • Diane Neofytidis, Director, Recruitment, implements changes consistent with best practice to support the recruitment of faculty, staff and administrators from historically underrepresented groups. For additional information, please click here.
    • Eileen Caufield, Associate Director, Training and Development, manages the University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Certificate Program. For additional information about the initial cohort, please click here.