Picture of the DAC tower

Office of Multicultural Affairs

Who We Are

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.  

COVID-19 Virtual Drop-In Hours and Office Update 

OMA has gone virtual! During the Fall 2020 semester, our offices and Centers are closed to visitors. Our staff and resources are still accessible to students and community members.  Our staff are working remotely and many of our programs and services are now available virtually! 

To engage with us, follow us @StJohnsOMA on instagram for the latest updates.  If you would like to speak to a member of our staff, please click the "Locations, Hours, and Staff" tab, below, to learn more about how to contact each of us.

Click the icons below to learn more about our programs, services, and hours!

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:  Representative, Project Aim International Mentoring Program

 

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

Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting Dates (coming soon)

Men of Color | Time/Date: TBD 

Women of Color | Time/Date: TBD

Graduate Students of Color | Time/Date: TBD

International Students | Time/Date: TBD

LGBTQ+ | Time/Date: TBD

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

Mission

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:

Fall 2020 Schedule

Coming Soon

 

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 trainings, please contact the Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs, Monique Jernigan, at [email protected]  

Follow the DPEs!
Instagram

 

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 student leader for the 2020-21 academic year, click the link to apply.  Application review begins Spring 2021.

 

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.

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 student leader for the 2020-21 academic year, click the link to apply.  Application review begins Spring 2021.

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.  In the fall of 2020, all heritage and special events will be offered virtually.

If you are a student interested in assisting with 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/Heritage Month (BHM)

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.

Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APHM)

Typically recognized nationally in May, though celebrated in April at St. John’s, 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.

Dismantle Oppression, or DO is the office’s new student workshop series. 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.  Though, though DO Series aims to provide a clearer and direct pathway to action.

As students ask themselves ‘What can they DO?’, our office would offer this program series as a response.  It is our hopes that together we can use critical and self-reflective inquiry, thoughtful peer-to-peer learning, practical, and antiracist action to dismantle oppression.

Coming soon!  Updates on availability for students to sign up will post mid-fall.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is now the managing department of the Safe Zone Program.  The Safe Zone Program at St. John’s University, with trainings executed by Spectrum Student Organization, remains supported by a collaboration of key administrators from Wellness, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of the Provost.  In the summer of 2020, the OMA revitalized its programs to highlight new offering— student equity workshops—comprised of new and revamped training programs.  Given this change, the Safe Zone Program fits in perfectly with its new direction.

SJU Safe Zone Program

 The primary mission of St. John's University's Safe Zone Program is to create a means through which we can consistently support the Gender & Sexual Minority (GSM) community in their growth and development, while honoring and celebrating the holistic experiences of the individual. 

 To achieve this, the Safe Zone Program seeks to:

  • Train participants in a broad model that will address inner prejudices and/or conflict preventing folx from offering authentic support to students.
  • Heighten awareness of current issues affecting GSM people at St. John's University
  • Recognize the needs and identities of GSM students in university-wide programming
  • Easily identify individuals who are empathetic and informed about GSM issues who are willing and able to provide support, information, and confidentiality.

The Safe Zone Program is currently being revamped.  Details on availability for students and community members to sign up will post mid-fall.  Stay tuned!