Exterior shot of the D"Angelo Center building

Office of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) strives to foster a more inclusive and culturally competent campus environment where students feel a strong sense of belonging and where their similarities and differences of identity and experience are acknowledged, understood, valued, and celebrated.  

We live out our mission by providing educational opportunities, informative trainings, rich programs and inclusive services.  We regularly collaborate with internal and external campus partners to challenge and rid out systems of oppression and inequality so that we may strengthen our institution's legacy of inclusion. 

Daily, we work to increase students' awareness and their capacity for empathy by exposing them to cultures and experiences different than their own, addressing campus climate issues, promoting global citizenship and inclusion, and by facilitating their self-actualizing growth and development.  

Continue reading or visit us to learn more about our programs!

OMA Signature Programs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is now offering Women of Color, Men of Color, LGBTQ+, International Students (Staten Island), and People of Color (Staten Island) Affinity Groups designed to encourage brave, inviting, and authentic spaces filled with discussion and connection focused on students' experiences on and beyond our St. John’s campus.

Affinity Groups can play a vital role in fostering an inclusive environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed.  They can provide a collective voice for student, faculty, and staff with common experiences. To ensure that the group offers a brave space, moderators may invite participants to explore their individual identities and backgrounds through discussions that affirms the existence, and psychosocial impact, of their identities when on and beyond our campus.

Current Affinity Group Offerings

Women of Color | Moderator: Monique L. Jernigan, M.S.

Men of Color | Moderator:  André McKenzie, Ed.D.  

Graduate Students of Color | Moderator:  Seraiah M. Romero '20 

LGBTQ+ | Moderator:  Candice D. Roberts, Ph.D.

International | Moderator:  Project Aim Mentor/Advisor


Virtual Affinity Groups

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, affinity groups will be offered virtually.  Participation in affinity groups is voluntary and based on individual identity and group membership.  Thus, participants are asked to complete the sign up form.  Once received and prior to each meeting, participants will receive a Zoom Link, Meeting ID and password sent to their email.  This ensures non-identity holding participants do not end up in the wrong affinity group by mistake.  If you'd like to sign up for any of our virtual affinity groups, please click the below link.

Register for a Virtual Affinity Group

Spring 2020 Virtual Meeting Dates (via Zoom)

Men of Color | Time: Apr 15, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Women of Color | Time: Apr 17, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Graduate Students of Color | Time: Apr 20, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

International Students | Time: Apr 22, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

LGBTQ+ | Time: Apr 24, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

AIM for a successful transition into your freshmen and/or sophomore year of college with Project AIM!


Project AIM is a peer-mentoring program that promotes student success by supporting student engagement, community-building, personal development, and retention of first year and second year international students.  ​

​Through a social and intellectual learning environment beyond the classroom, Project AIM supports student success with five learning pillars: Acclimation to the University, Leadership/Career Development, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Awareness/Appreciation, Academic Achievement, and an increased Sense of Belonging.

​Programs and Services

  • Individual/Group Interactions with Mentors: Peer mentors offer consistent academic, social, cultural, and personal support to their mentees, including practice speaking English via all possible communication channels and in-person meetings. 
  • Connections with Peers: Peer mentors invite mentees and their friends to get together regularly for networking and social expansion, which help build a stronger sense of belonging at St. John’s. 
  • Academic Success and Career/Leadership Development: Peer mentors offer individual coaching and guidance to mentees on academic achievements, career preparation, and leadership development utilizing campus resources.
  • Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Awareness/Appreciation: Peer mentors invite mentees to participate in on-campus, cross-cultural events, diversity and equity training, and DiverCity activities in New York City, which celebrates the diversity and inclusion of our students and our nation.
  • Vincentian Mission and Social Action: Peer mentors and mentees conduct community service projects as a group to experience the Vincentian tradition of serving the poor and taking action to better society.
  • Immigration Regulations Workshops: Peer mentors and mentees with F-1 or J-1 status are invited to immigration regulations workshops presented by the University international student advisors and immigration attorneys, who discuss CPT, OPT, H1B, Traveling, Maintaining Status, and other updated immigration regulations and policies related to SEVP and SEVIS.

Register to Become A Mentee NOW!

Please click the link: 

Project AIM Mentee Registration Form

More info about Project AIM, please contact:
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: (718) 990-2011
Office Location: D'Angelo Center Room 1241

The Diversity Peer Education Program is dedicated to creating an inclusive campus environment by spreading cultural awareness and sensitivity while promoting diversity and social justice at St. John’s University. Diversity Peer Educators (DPEs) work with student leaders and organizations on a request basis to facilitate workshops related to social justice and diversity throughout the school year.

The DPEs
Diversity Peer Educators (DPEs) are trained undergraduate students who work for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  The DPEs facilitate training courses meant to create brave spaces where student participants can share their experiences, identities, and connect across difference. DPEs utilize their voices and passion for equity, inclusion, and social justice to help create a more inclusive St. John’s community where students can learn from one another and gain knowledge about others. In addition to facilitating training courses, DPEs support and host special events to promote social justice on campus and are ambassadors for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Training Courses
Our staff created a series of social justice training courses that increase in level of self-awareness, social justice knowledge, and skill. Each training is about two hours in duration. You must complete the training courses in order.

Level One: Increasing Cultural Competency
This introductory training will help participants understand who they are, their cultural influences, and how those aspects intersect. Through interactive activities and discussions, participants will explore their current cultural competency and learn more about each other.

Level Two: Social Justice Foundations
Through interactive activities and discussions, this training will allow participants to further explore their identities and learn more about power, privilege, and intersectionality.

Level Three: Understanding and Reacting to Implicit Bias and Microaggressions
Through interactive activities and discussions, this training will help participants recognize and respond to implicit bias and microaggressions while also increasing the skills necessary to interact effectively with a diverse group of people.

Training Requests
If interested in participating in the DPE training courses, please complete the form below detailing your request and a member of our support staff will respond as soon as possible. When requesting a training please note that you must book between the following times:

Spring 2020

12 p.m.-9 p.m.
(Last training is from 7-9 p.m.)

2 p.m.-9 p.m.
(Last training is from 7-9 p.m.)

12 p.m.-2 p.m.
(Last training is from 12-2 p.m.)

Fall 2019

5 p.m.-7 p.m.
(Last training is from 5-7 p.m.)

2 p.m.-7 p.m.
(Last training is from 5-7 p.m.)


All training requests must be submitted at least two weeks in advance and you must have a confirmed space or room reservation. Departments: If you would like to reserve the IRC lecture room on behalf of your student led program, please email [email protected] before completing this form to see if the IRC is available. Your training is not confirmed until you receive confirmation from the DPE Graduate Assistant.

DPE Training Request Form 

Student Involvement

The Diversity Peer Educator applications have closed.  Applications for the Fall 2020-Spring 2021 academic year will begin in March 2020.

For more information regarding the Diversity Peer Education Program and other social justice training, please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Seraiah Romero at 718-990-3326 or the Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs, Monique Jernigan, at [email protected]  

Follow the DPEs!


OMA Student Leader Positions!

The Diversity Peer Education Program and Common Ground Dialogues have combined student leader roles.  If you are interested in applying to be a DPE or CGD student leader for the 2020-21 academic year, click the link to apply.  Applications close April 22, 2020.


Queens Application: https://oma_.formstack.com/forms/dpe_igd_application_form_2020_21

Staten Island Application: https://OMA_.formstack.com/forms/dpecgdapplicationsi20_21



Common Ground Dialogues is an Intergroup Dialogue Program through the Office of Multicultural Affairs that provides opportunities for students to come together to share experiences relating to their social identities and lived experience as they engage in peer-led dialogues about hot societal topics and issues.

Key characteristics of Common Ground Dialogues:

• All Common Ground Dialogues are co-led by pairs of St John’s University undergraduate student leaders called facilitators.  These facilitators have gone through countless hours of extensive training. All dialogues are for students and led by students using the University of Michigan's Intergroup Dialogue framework.

• One of the fundamental principles underlying the Common Ground Dialogues program is that some of the most powerful learning occurs through exposure to and consideration of multiple perspectives. Therefore, one of the most important goals is to create a dialogic environment in which students talk openly and candidly about their individual identities, background, and its connection to social justice education.  Specifically, participants connect each hot topic to systems of power, privilege, oppression, while listening carefully to the views and experiences of other participants. Our dialogues create opportunities for individuals to emerges with a deeper and more complete understanding of their own identity, environment, and how the topics presented connect to social justice.

OMA Student Leader Positions!

The Common Ground Dialogues and Diversity Peer Education Program have combined student leader roles.  If you are interested in applying to be a DPE or CGD student leader for the 2020-21 academic year, click the link to apply.  Applications close April 22, 2020.

Queens Application: https://oma_.formstack.com/forms/dpe_igd_application_form_2020_21

Staten Island Application: https://OMA_.formstack.com/forms/dpecgdapplicationsi20_21



Heritage Month Celebrations

In appreciation and celebration of cultural diversity, the Office of Multicultural Affairs collaborates with student leaders, student organizations, and campus partners to host a month-long observance of select heritage month celebrations.

If you are interested in the planning and implementation of any of these months, please fill out this form.

Latinx Heritage Month (LHM)

Latinx Heritage Month, also known as National Hispanic Heritage Month is nationally celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Native and Indigenous Heritage Month (NIHM)

In appreciation and celebration of the shared history and culture of Native and Indigenous peoples of America. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. 

Black History Month (BHM)

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.

Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APHM)

Typically celebrated in May, but celebrated in April at St. John’s so more students can participate, Asian American /Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a celebration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  it encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

Our Staff

Monique Jernigan, Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs & Director of Inclusivity Resource Center
[email protected]

Monique Jernigan joined the St. John's community in October 2018. She comes to us with many years of experience in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion supporting policy, programming, and services that promote equity and inclusion.  Her past experience includes work in small, private liberal arts colleges, K-12 independent schools, and mid-sized comprehensive universities.  Monique believes that students should always be first, and that their experiences and narratives should remain central to the mission and work of all educational institutions and their employees.  Monique's leadership includes supervising the professional staff, select graduate assistants, and continued innovation and partnership with campus colleagues, departments and students to create a more inclusive and affirming campus environment.   

Rosa Yen, Director of International Student Services and Multicultural Affairs
[email protected]

Rosa Yen is the Director of International Student Services and Multicultural Affairs and began working at St. John’s University more than 17 years ago. Originally from Taiwan, Ms. Yen felt a natural connection to international students and issues of multiculturalism and social change. She directly oversees the Project AIM International student peer mentoring program, Asian Alliance, and both Asian/Pacific Islander and Indigenous People heritage celebrations. In addition to her full-time position as an administrator, she serves as an adjunct faculty member, teaching Discover New York and Liberal Studies classes in the College of Professional Studies since 2007. She also speaks fluent Mandarin, English, and Taiwanese.

Mona El-Shahat, Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs | Staten Island

Mona is the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs who primarily supports our Staten Island campus. She joined the OMA team in February 2019 and is an alumna of St. John’s University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Health & Human Services from the Collins College of Professional Studies. Mona also possesses a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Her professional background includes several industries including Human Resources, Healthcare, Social Services and Education. She directly oversees the Diversity Peer Education, Common Ground Dialogues, Affinity Groups and Heritage month programs on the Staten Island campus.  She has also served as an adjunct instructor for the School of Education. Mona is passionate about creating an inclusive campus through encouraging and supporting students to critically examine, name and dismantle systems of oppression. 

Queens Campus

D'Angelo Center, Room 124
Monday to Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tel: 718-990-5400
[email protected]


Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Inclusivity Resource Center
Monday to Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tel: 718-990-2515
[email protected]


Staten Island Campus

Kelleher Center, Inclusivity Resource Center & Office of Multicultural Affairs

Monday to Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tel: 718-390-4470
[email protected]


Anti-Racism & Racial Literacy Resources  

To support the anti-racism efforts happening in our institution, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) has curated an extensive list of resources geared toward improving the racial literacy of our constituents and community.  As a department, it is important that we continue to shed light on this very real systemic issue that is pervasive in many areas of our lives. It is our hope that consumption of these resources will be helpful in your journey to deepening your understanding of the processes and systems that perpetuate and uphold systems of oppression.  

As we continue the daily journey of being an anti-racist department and campus, we first hold ourselves accountable as we also support peer and community accountability.  To do this, we begin with the competencies of self-awareness and empathy as we work toward better understanding and supporting one another.  

Anti-racism is an ongoing process that requires continuous, proactive engagement, and participation. OMA would like to provide this resource list to supplement the process of unlearning racism, beginning with ourselves, our classrooms and campuses, our families, and our community.  

To supplement your actions in becoming anti-racist, we encourage you to begin with knowledge building through review of this curated list, which includes articles and readings that may be helpful in understanding different perspectives, books featuring notable authors who write about lived experiences through the lens of race and antiracism, videos including TED Talks, clips, movies, and television shows aimed at increasing individual and group awareness. Further, we have provided links inclusive of a “how-to” section for those seeking to take action.  To support the protection of your energy, referred to as self-care, we have also included things to do in the NYC area and a list of mental health resources from internal and external sources.   

This curated list includes several categories to cater to the different needs of our campus community.  This list, while extensive, is not complete. We invite you to contact us to provide any resources you believe are missing or would like to see featured. 

Some books may currently be out of stock, we encourage you to consider e-book options: 


  • 13th (Ava DuVernay)  
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) 
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien)  
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) 
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) 
  • Seven Seconds (Veena Sud) 
  • They’ve Gotta Have Us (Docuseries) 
  • Malcolm X (Spike Lee) 
  • Who Killed Malcolm X (Rachel Dretzin and Phil Bertelsen) 
  • Time: The Kalief Browder Story (Jenner Furst) 
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins) 
  • Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (Kasi Lemmons) 
  • Becoming (Nadia Hallgren) 
  • Teach Us All (Sonia Lowman) 
  • Trigger Warning with Killer Mike 
  • LA 92 (Daniel Lindsay & T.J. Martin) 
  • The Force (Peter Nicks) 
  • The Innocence Files (Roger Ross Williams) 


  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) 
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr. -- Hulu with Cinemax)  
  • Black-ish (Kenya Barris) 
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (George C. Wolfe) 
  • Whose Streets (Sabaah Folayan) 
  • Crime + Punishment (Stephen Maing) 

Amazon Prime/HBO/Rental 

  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) 
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin documentary directed by Raoul Peck) 
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) free rental for the month of June 2020 
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) 
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution  
  • Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) 
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) 
  • Loving (Jeff Nichols) 
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) 
  • Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee) 
  • Belle (Amma Asante) 
  • Black Kkklansman (Spike Lee) 
  • Marshall (Reginald Hudlin) 
  • Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) 

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL 
515 Malcolm X Boulevard (135th St and Malcolm X Blvd) 
New York, NY, 10037 
(917) 275-6975 


Louis Armstrong House Museum 
34-56 107th Street Corona NY 11368 
(718) 478-8274 

Langston Hughes House  
20 E. 127th Street New York, NY 10035 

African Burial Ground National Monument  
290 Broadway New York, NY 10007 
(212) 637-2019 

Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial, Educational and Cultural Center  
3940 Broadway New York, NY 10032 

Studio Museum in Harlem 
144 W. 125th Street New York, NY 10027 
(212) 864-4500 

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
405 W. 55th Street New York,  NY 10019 
(212) 405-9000 

Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (Mother Zion) 
1st African American church 
140-7 West 137th Street New York, NY 10030 
(212) 234-1544  

Weeksville Heritage Center  
1698 Bergen Street Brooklyn, NY 11213 

Shirley Chisolm Circle  
900 Prospect Place Brooklyn, NY 11213 

Addisleigh Park Historic District  
110-40 177th Street Jamaica, NY 11433   

Black Spectrum Theatre  
177th Street & Baisley Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11434 

206 W 118th Street New York, NY 10026 
(212) 243-2222 

African American Museum of Nassau County  
110 North Franklin Street Hempstead, NY 11550 
(516) 572-0730 

Fraunces Tavern Museum 
54 Pearl Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10004 
(212) 425-1778 

Apollo Theater 
253 W 125th Street New York, NY 10027 

Lewis Latimer House 
34-41 137th Street Flushing, NY 11354 
(718) 961-8585 

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art 
80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn 11217 (Exterior & Lobby Galleries, Central Gallery) 
Nolan Park House 7A, Governors Island NYC 10004 (House) 
(718) 230-0492 x700 

Sandy Ground Historical Society  
1538 Woodrow Road Staten Island, N.Y. 10309 
(718) 317-5796 

St. John’s University Center for Counseling & Consultation Resource List 

Below we have outlined resources for identity-based counseling services. Individual therapists have not been vetted and are simply a reference list for those seeking identity-based counseling services from licensed clinicians. 

Therapy for Black Girls  
Therapy for Black Girls is an online space committed to improving the mental health and wellness of Black women and girls. 

Psychology Today African American Therapist Directory https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/african-american 

Psychology Today Latinx Therapist Directory  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/hispanic-and-latino 

Therapy for Latinx  

Psychology Today Asian Therapist Directory 

Psychology Today Native & Indigenous Therapist Directory https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/native-american 

Psychology Today Middle Eastern Therapist Directory https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/arabic 

Psychology Today Bi/Multiracial Therapist Directory https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/multicultural/ny/new-york  
Psychology Today LGBTQIA+ Therapist Directory  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/gay 

Psychology Today Racial Identity Therapists  

Psychology Today Disability Therapist Directory 

Inclusive Therapist Directory – find a therapist for all identities https://www.inclusivetherapists.com 

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) 
NAMI NYC Metro Support Groups 
NAMI Queens/Long Island  
NAMI Brooklyn/Staten Island 

Ourselves, Black 
Information concerning mental health promotion, positive coping and resources related to mental illness and treatment.