Front view of students in computer lab

The Lesley H. & William L. Collins College of Professional Studies Antiracism Statement and Action Plan

The faculty, staff, and administrators of The Lesley H. & William L. Collins College of Professional Studies of St. John’s University oppose all forms of individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural racism. The mission of the College is to deliver career-focused educational programs, taught by  talented scholars and industry professionals, that provide our students with sound theoretical and practical knowledge though innovative and creative instruction. We cannot complete our mission when prejudice, hatred, and discrimination remain part of the College’s environment. Black and other students of color deserve our full attention to assure their success after they leave St. John’s, and our black employees should be assured of an affirming work environment.

As educators, we strive to provide equity in our administrative and educational practices and acknowledge it is not enough to be “not racist.” We need to be active in promoting antiracist policies, procedures, and most importantly actions.

The key theme for CCPS will be change. Change is impossible without action, but action is only possible with willing, focused, and highly motivated intent of spirit to move towards the desired end: a more diverse, just, inclusive, and equitable College.

We recognize that reversing years of racism will take hard work and the efforts of all members of the College family, including faculty, administrators, staff, students, and alumni. Beginning immediately, we are launching an antiracist action plan (details below) to help provide a welcoming, accepting, and just environment for all students, faculty, staff, and administrators, regardless of race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, or religion. Working together, we can ensure that racism will be eliminated from CCPS, St. John’s University, and our community.

CCPS Antiracism Action Plan

“The good news is that racist and antiracist are not fixed identities. We can be racist one minute and an antiracist the next. What we say about race, what we do about race, in each moment determines what – not who – we are.”

Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D.
How to Be an Antiracist

These optimistic words give us hope that a well thought-out and well executed plan can create the change we are seeking. Towards that end, CCPS has created an action plan, effective immediately. Under each menu are specific actions, along with projected completion dates, designed to make CCPS an antiracist college.

The Dean of the Collins College of Professional Studies is responsible for the completion of the following items:

  1. Publish an antiracism statement and action plan (Completed October 2020).
  2. Charge the CCPS Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing to review the CCPS Academic Fairness Policy to ensure that all students receive fair and equitable treatment (Completed March 2021).
  3. Create a CCPS Equity and Inclusion Committee including faculty, administrators, students, and alumni: The Committee is charged with reviewing and evaluating all CCPS equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism plans (Completed October 2020).
  4. Include antiracism as a CCPS strategic goal (see “Faculty” drop-down menu below) (Completed September 2020).
  5. Develop a plan to educate faculty, administrators, and staff on race, power, and privilege (Begun October 2020, ongoing).
  6. Review Dean’s Office policies and procedures to ensure that they are diverse, inclusive, and antiracist (Begun October 2020, expected completion September 2022).


The CCPS Equity & Inclusion Committee is responsible for completion of the following items:

  1. Review and revise CCPS Anti-racism Action Plan (First updates completed April 2022)
  2. Establish an Equity & Inclusion minor and digital badge option for students (submitted to CCPS Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee April 2022)
  3. Create and maintain an Anti-Racism, Equity & Inclusion Readings/Resource list for faculty, staff, admin, students, community members (to be posted Fall 2022, ongoing)
  4. Create and maintain a list of internal professional development opportunities— including research, pedagogy, and service-based— for faculty across various areas of equity and inclusion (May 2022, ongoing)
  5. Highlight equity & inclusion projects from CCPS faculty & students (beginning Fall 2022)
  6. Expand the CCPS Antiracism, Equity & Inclusion web page to include the above elements and serve as a more expansive hub for ongoing resources to foster engagement and support the objectives described below at the divisional and faculty levels (Spring 2022, ongoing)


    Division Chairs and/or Program directors are responsible for completion of the following items:

    1. Ensure that all faculty hiring processes, for both full-time and adjunct positions, are designed to be inclusive of historically underrepresented groups (Begun September 2020, ongoing).
    2. Address any gaps in which students are not able to critically analyze racist ideas, beliefs, and ideologies throughout their program of study (Begun September 2020, expected completion May 2022).
    3. Develop and implement a plan to consistently examine graduate admission policies to ensure that they are inclusive of historically underrepresented groups (Begun November 2020, expected completion May 2022).
    4. Ensure that most policies, procedures, and handbooks are visible to all students on the CCPS website (Begun November 2020, expected completion May 2022).
    5. Identify resources and develop protocols to support faculty to ensure that teaching pedagogies, syllabi, assessments, and other materials create a learning environment where all students are treated fairly and have an equal opportunity to succeed, especially those in groups historically underrepresented among college students (Begun November 2020, expected completion May 2022).

    Each year the College is required to set strategic priorities for faculty, which will be considered when determining the recipients of annual Faculty Achievement Awards. Faculty are required to submit their Annual Faculty Activity Reports on or about June 1. Objectives that are directly related to diversity, inclusion, and antiracism are highlighted.

    1. Increase enrollment, retention, and graduation rates.


    1. Continue to develop and enroll students in Pathways to graduate degree programs and update and aggressively market existing majors and minors.
    2. Review all collaboration agreements with high schools, universities, and other organizations and determine if they are still viable and developing new collaborations, both domestic and international, such as articulation agreements, combined degree programs, and student and faculty exchange opportunities.
    3. Ensure that faculty provide student engagement opportunities outside the classroom, such as ensuring the vibrancy of student clubs, holding seminars and networking events, and encouraging student interactions with faculty and with each other.

    2. Increase faculty scholarly output.


    1. Encourage excellence in applied and scholarly research and commit to hiring an outstanding and diversified full-time and part-time faculty.
    2. Encourage faculty research by supporting paper presentation at conferences, especially in cross-Divisional authorship and collaboration with both undergraduate and graduate students.
    3. Increase the number of papers submitted to peer-reviewed journals, select conferences, or other highly recognized professional outlets suitable to the discipline.

    3. Integrate new teaching technologies to ensure the academic success of all students.


    1. Encourage faculty completion of basic and advanced digital pedagogical training and deploying techniques that will provide students greater access and connectivity with course material and allow a seamless transition to remote learning as environmental conditions dictate.
    2. Provide focused course design, teaching, and assessment that is engaging, meaningful, and accessible to all students regardless of their learning styles, socio-economic status, and backgrounds.
    3. Teaching and assessment that deliberately cultivate an environment in which all students are treated fairly and have an equal opportunity to succeed, especially those in groups historically underrepresented among college students.

    4.  Identify and eliminate racial, power, and social inequities within CCPS.


    1. Promote an antiracism agenda through education and awareness training and action at the individual, Division, and College levels. 
    2. Encourage faculty, administrator, staff, and student leader participation in antiracism and social justice themed workshops, trainings, restorative dialogues, and symposia.
    3. Ensure that members of historically underrepresented groups are included in searches and serve on interview panels when hiring full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and administrators. 
    4. Encourage faculty to integrate racial and social justice concepts into their courses through utilization of lectures, class discussions, guest speakers, and assignments that support a culture of antiracism.

    Faculty and Administrators

    • Randolph D. J. Ortiz, Ed.D. (‘19Ed.D.), Assistant Dean, Co-Chair
    • Candice Roberts, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Division of Mass Communication, Co-Chair
    • Thomas D. Hughes, J.D. (‘74SVC), Adjunct Associate Professor of Philosophy
    • Kathleen K. Marks, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Division of English and Speech
    • Christopher Martinez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security
    • Basilio Monteiro, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Division of Mass Communication
    • Maria Rappa (‘09CPS, ‘16MBA), Assistant Dean
    • Lequez Spearman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Sport Management


    • Teresa Mason, J.D. (‘79SVC, ‘02HON)
    • Waheed Ameen (‘18GCPS)