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.
Our office offers program, services, and spaces to all students, though our programming is geared toward tailoring our programs to educate about and highlight the experiences of historically underrepresented groups and their cultures.
We live out our mission by providing educational opportunities, informative trainings, rich cultural programs and inclusive services. We regularly collaborate with internal and external campus partners to challenge and rid out systems of oppression and inequality that have historically oppressed underrepresented groups. By doing so, we work to strengthen our institution's legacy of service and inclusion.
As a department, we work to increase students' awareness of others and to expand their capacity for empathy by exposing them to cultures and experiences often different than their own. We are involved in multiple areas of teh institution that are charged with addressing campus climate issues for historically underrepresented groups and we promote global citizenship and inclusion of these groups by facilitating opportunities for self-actualizing growth and development.
To learn more about our offerings, view the OMA Programs and Services Brochure (PDF) or click the below accordions to learn more.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs is offering virtual and in-person Women of Color, Men of Color, LGBTQIA+, and International Student 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: Anika Dorsey
Men of Color | Moderator: Dr. André McKenzie
LGBTQIA+, Queens Campus | Moderator: Dr. Candice D. Roberts
LGBTQIA+, Staten Island Campus | Moderator: Lisa Sloan
International Student | Moderator: Alya Fadil
Participation in affinity groups is voluntary and based on individual identity and group membership. Thus, participants are asked to complete a sign-up form and indicate your preference of in-person vs. virtual attendance. This form includes the registration for in-person attendance and all zoom registration links for virtual attendance. Participants who are registered for virtual attendance 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 affinity groups, please click the below link.
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.
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.
SEW Leaders Serve as DPE Facilitators
Student Equity Workshop (SEW) Leaders are trained undergraduate students who work for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and who facilitate Diversity Peer Education (DPE) Program courses. SEW Leaders help cultivate authentic spaces where student participants can share their experiences, identities, and connect across difference in a brave learning environment. These SEW Leaders utilize their voices and passion for equity, inclusion, and social justice to help create a more inclusive campus community.
DPE Program 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.
DPE 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.
DPE 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.
DPE 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.
DPE Training Requests
If interested in participating in the DPE training courses, please access the forms, below.
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 a member of our staff.
DPE Training Request Form [Group Sign-Up]
DPE Trainings Request Form [Individual Sign-Up]
For more information regarding the Diversity Peer Education Program and other social justice trainings, please contact the Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs, Monique Jernigan, at [email protected]
SEW Leader Applications!
If you are interested in applying to be a SEW Leader, charged with facilitating DPE Program workshops, click the link to apply. Applications are open, with interviews occurring in the spring.
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, adapted from the University of Michigan, managed by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Common Ground provides opportunities for students to come together virtually and in-person to share experiences relating to their social identities, lived experiences, and connections to each topic. Students who take part in these energized sessions enjoy the peer-led dialogues centering on relevant equity-centered issues.
Elements 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.
Register to Attend Our Hot Topic Dialogues!
Common Ground Dialogues [Group Sign-Up]
Common Ground Dialogues [Individual Sign-Up]
OMA Student Equity Workshop (SEW) Leader Positions!
The Common Ground Dialogues, Safe Zone, the Diversity Peer Education Program, and the Dismantle Oppression Series are all housed under the Student Equity Workshop Programs (SEW). We have filled our leader seats for the 2021-22 academic year. If you are interested in becoming a SEW Leader for the 2022-23 academic year, click the link to apply. Applications are accepted all year; though, hiring beings March of 2022.
SEW Application for New + Returning Leaders
In appreciation and celebration of historically underrepresented groups, the Office of Multicultural Affairs collaborates with student leaders, student organizations, and campus partners to host month-long observances or one-off cultural events. The heritage months our office organizes are below.
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.
Annually in the month of November, we recognize, appreciate and celebrate the shared history and culture of Native and Indigenous peoples of America.
Black History/Heritage 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.
Typically recognized nationally in May, our University celebrates this month in April. Asian American /Pacific-Islander Heritage Month is a celebration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders history and contributions in the United States. The cultures celebrated in this month include those from all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
In addition to heritage month celebrations our University offers special events for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Lunar New Year, Juneteenth, LGBTQ History Month, PRIDE, and other salient days.
19th Annual Lunar New Year CelebrationD’Angelo Center BallroomFriday, January 28, 2022 from 3 to 5 p.m. (doors open at 2:30 p.m.)
St. John’s University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Project AIM cordially invite you to attend the 19th annual Lunar New Year Celebration.
In East Asian astrology, 2022 is the year of the Water Tiger. Tigers represent strength, power, courage, and ambition. In this new year, we can expect good fortune in relationships and family life, and success in our career with hard work and determination.
Come join us in attracting positive energy for the Lunar New Year, through a lion dance, guest performances, Asian traditions, and a raffle. In light of the pandemic, the dinner will not be served during this year’s celebration. Instead, authentic Asian cuisine and bubble tea will be packaged to go for your convenience to enjoy after the event.
Seating is limited; all guests must RSVP in advance. Masks are required.
The first 100 St. John’s University community members who stay for the entire event will receive a $10 Starbucks/Dunkin’ voucher in a red envelope.
To RSVP, please click here.
If you are a student interested in joining our Heritage Month Student Planning Council, a student council that assists our office with the planning and implementation of the above-mentioned cultural/heritage month events, please complete the Heritage Month Student Council Application or contact a member of our staff.
The Dismantle Oppression (DO) Series is the newest student equity workshop. The DO Series focuses on the antiracist’s journey. DO incorporates and builds on the work of historian and author Ibram X. Kendi from one of his recent books, “How To Be An Antiracist” (2019). DO is a student-led virtual series developed in response to what has been happening in our country, including and before we found ourselves in quarantine. This series, while unique and timely, couples well with existing student-led and student-centered workshops offered by our office. DO Series aims to provide a more direct pathway for students looking to take action to dismantle white supremacy and all its connected forms of oppression.
Students often wonder ‘What can they DO?’. Our office would offer this program series as an actionable response--you can dismantle oppression. DO offers a critical and self-reflective process filled with thoughtful peer-to-peer learning, practical application, and antiracist tools to dismantle oppression.
Students can sign up for any of the five DO modules through the SGI x OMA "Curated SEW Series" or by signing their group up for a workshop.
DO Series [Group Sign-Up]
DO Series [Individual Sign-Up]
The Office of Multicultural Affairs is now the managing department for the Safe Zone Program at St. John's University. Since the summer of 2020, the OMA has worked with several student leaders, faculty, and staff to revitalize its program.
SJU Safe Zone Program
St. John's recognizes and celebrates the intrinsic worth of all individuals.
The primary mission of St. John's University's Safe Zone Program is to create a means through which we can consistently support members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and other community members (LGBTQ+) in their growth and development, while honoring and celebrating the holistic experiences of the individual.
To achieve this, the Safe Zone Program seeks to:
Safe Zone offers 3-levels before participants can be Safe Zone Certified. Once participants are certified, they can sign up to become Safe Zone Facilitators by taking the 3-Hour Safe Zone Train the Trainer workshop. Any current St. John's University student, faculty, staff, or administrator is certified can request to attend train the trainer sessions.
Safe Zone Training/Workshop Offerings
Level 1: "Get Used to It: Gender, Sexuality & Love"
Level 2: "Pride Applied: Intersecting Identities and Effective Allyship"
Level 3: "Allyship: More Than a Buzzword"
Train the Trainer: "Step Up or Move Back!"
Safe Zone workshops are offered on the Queens, NY, and Staten Island, NY, campuses, as well as virtually. They take place mostly on Tuesday evenings from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. ET. Once a month, there is "Safe Zone Saturdays", an a-la-carte virtual workshop offering for individuals are missing one or two trainings or for those who want to get SJU Safe Zone Certified in one day. Students, faculty, staff, or administrators interested in becoming a St. John's University Safe Zone Certified ally or trainer may sign up, below.
Safe Zone [Group Sign-Up]
Safe Zone [Individual Sign-Up]
The Safe Zone Program was revamped during the 2020-21 academic year by Spectrum leaders and SEW leaders from the Queens and Staten Island, NY, campuses. Safe Zone remains a university collaboration of students, administrators, faculty, and staff . This program would not be as successful without key support by members of Spectrum Student Organization, Wellness, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of the Provost, among other key units.
The International Student Council (ISC) at St. John’s University is a University initiative led by the International Student and Scholar Services Office and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
The purpose of the International Student Council is to convene international student leaders who are willing to SCOPE:
The ISC strives to support international students at all levels by ensuring they have the tools and support to achieve a holistic college experience. They do this by providing a centralized platform for global community building, responding to global needs impacting students, and promoting activities and pathways that lead to a stronger sense of belonging at St. John’s University.
The ISC serves under the direction of Ching-Wen Rosa Yen, ISC Chair, with support from Amy Schoenfeld, Chair, Administrative Action Committee (AAC) for International Student Success. Together, the ISC and AAC are two-pronged approaches to enriching our international student experience.