Students walking on campus in fall

Mission, Equity, and Inclusion

Advancing Our Catholic and Vincentian Commitment to Social Justice

Page last updated 12/7/2021

The committee goals listed here, as well as action items for each goal, are considered to be in progress and may be updated, deleted, and/or revised.

Committee Goals

  1. Affirm the full dignity and humanity of all persons

    Our Catholic and Vincentian tradition calls for us to respect and honor the dignity of all persons, and to affirm their contributions to our University’s mission. St. John’s University will stand with all persons and will oppose any form of discrimination, violence, or harassment directed against all persons.
     

  2. Prioritize social justice, diversity, belonging, equity, and inclusion

    Faithful to our mission as a Catholic and Vincentian university, St. John’s will be a leader in advancing antiracism in the classroom, in the lab, in our community partnerships, and every area of what we do, making social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion a priority. We embrace the words of Pope Francis, who insisted that “We cannot tolerate…racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”

    Our commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion will also guide our efforts against all forms of systemic and intersecting oppressions and marginalizations, including but not limited to racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, ageism, classism, religious intolerance, and xenophobia.
     

  3. Create and sustain an inclusive and diverse workforce

    Consistent with our Catholic commitment to the principles of solidarity and participation, our University’s commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion will be clearly demonstrated in our hiring practices, in our employment policies, and in the culture of our workplaces that respect all our employees and empower them to contribute to the advancement of our University’s mission.
     

  4. Cultivate free and critical inquiry with intellectual humility

    According to our Mission Statement, “as a university, we commit ourselves to academic excellence and the pursuit of wisdom, which flows from free inquiry, religious values, and human experience,” and “Our community, which comprises members of many faiths, strives for an openness that is ‘wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise’ (Philippians 4:8).

    With genuine intellectual humility, we commit ourselves to enacting this in our curriculum, workspaces, programs, policies, and practices.
     

  5. Advance social justice tools and practices to dismantle oppression and address poverty

    In accord with our Vision Statement, we will equip our students “to excel in the competencies and values required for leadership and service in a rapidly evolving global community. As a Catholic and Vincentian university, we will be known worldwide for addressing issues of poverty and social justice.” 

    In the words of Pope Francis, St. John’s will be a university “where solutions for civil and cultural progress for individual persons and for humanity, marked by solidarity, are pursued with perseverance and professionalism.” As a university, we commit ourselves to develop tools for dismantling oppression in our classrooms, workplaces, and community.
     

  6. Embed global competencies, perspectives and experiences, especially through a robust study abroad experience

    Recognizing that many of humanity’s most significant challenges (including environmental injustice, poverty and income inequality, food and housing insecurity, and systemic oppression) are international in scope, the metropolitan and global element of our Mission Statement calls us to “foster those qualities needed for our alumni to become effective leaders and responsible citizens in a vibrant city and dynamic world.”

    Motivated by our commitment to social justice, St. John’s will embed intercultural competencies, perspectives, and experiences into our educational and co-curricular offerings, especially through a robust study abroad experience, to ensure that students graduate with a clear sense of their responsibility to the world community. We will empower faculty to engage in research that addresses complex questions by taking advantage of our partnerships with institutions around the world.

Committee Members


Matthew Pucciarelli, Ph.D., Chair; Associate Provost for Global Programs, Office of the Provost
Rev. Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Chair; Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and Senior Research Fellow, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Kaitlin Byrnes, student
Manouchkathe Cassagnol, Pharm.D., BCPS, AACC, Director, Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion, and Associate Clinical Professor, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Mona I. El-Shahat, Assistant Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Staten Island Campus
Betzaida Gonzalez, Academic Support Services Assistant
Kamanie Jailal, Administrative Assistant, Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion
Monique L. Jernigan, Executive Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Director, Inclusivity Resource Center
Ipshita Pal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Services, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies
Robert J. Rivera, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Heather C. Robertson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Counselor Education, The School of Education
April Rogers, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Services, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies
Victoria Santangelo, Associate Vice President, University Ministry
Dorothy M. Schmitt, LMHC, Associate Director, Counseling Center
Sharod L. Tomlinson, Director, Student Development and R.I.S.E. Mentoring
Joan S. Tropnas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Health and Human Services, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies
Keaton Wong, J.D., Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance and Interim Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Ching-Wen Rosa Yen, Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Development