Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion

Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion Logo

Who we are...  

The Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion (or “Academic Center”) organizes scholarly and pedagogical activities that advance St. John's University's commitment to an inclusive and equitable University community. The Academic Center exists to foster personal and institutional accountability for the University’s mission of “respect for the rights of every person” and advancement of the global common good. Thus, we aim to repair damage caused by social injustices and oppose all forms of oppression that harm our community, based upon race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, language, ability, political status, partisan affiliation, or religious membership.  

What we do...  

As an "Academic Center," we organize and catalyze the following scholarly and pedagogical activities: 

  • Research and Publication. Assist and advise academic units in their support of faculty research and scholarship on equity and inclusion topics. 
  • Literacy and Pedagogy.  Support and facilitate opportunities to develop equity literacy, inclusive curriculum, and anti-oppression pedagogies.  
  • Institutional Accountability and Recognition. Advise those who monitor academic units’ efforts to implement equity and inclusion plans, and advocate for recognition of faculty who cultivate campus equity and inclusion programming. 
  • Collaborative Learning. Nurture and expand University spaces for collaborative critical inquiry, co-curricular engagement, and community partnership regarding equity and inclusion. 

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Our Plan

ACEI Operational Priorities

  1. Establish and sustain a climate where communication about race, racism, racial disparities, and antiracism can flourish
  2. Organize strategic collective action to change oppressive practices and policies within and beyond the University
  3. Enhance faculty-driven advancement of anti-oppressive practices in curriculum, co-curricular initiatives, pedagogy, and production of knowledge
  4. Enhance faculty-driven skill-building in the areas of pedagogy, administrative decision-making, leadership, service, and research to support ongoing learning for social justice
  5. Formalize process by which data is collected and evaluated in collaboration with university stakeholders to determine if the Academic Center’s outcomes are being achieved.

Our Team

Director, Manouchkathe Cassagnol, Pharm.D.
Associate Clinical Professor

[email protected]
St. Augustine Hall, Room 402

Department Assistant
Kamanie Jialal
Department Assistant Secretary
Academic Center for Equity & Inclusion
St.Augustine Hall, 402
[email protected]

Our Coalition


Manouchkathe Cassagnol, Chair

Andre McKenzie, Vice Provost

Nada Llewellyn, Chief Diversity Officer

Jared Littman, Grants and Sponsored research

Paul Desmarais, Online Learning Services

Julia Upton, Provost Emerita and Distinguished Professor of Theology

Gina Florio, Associate Professor, Chair Strategic Priorities Review Team

Jeremy Cruz, Assistant Professor

Raj Chetty, Assistant Professor

Cynthia Phillips, Director of Center for Teaching and Learning


Heather Robertson, Chair, Inclusive Teaching and Learning subcommittee*

Joanne Carroll, Chair, Institutional Accountability and mission subcommittee*

Sharon Marshall, Chair, Inclusive Campus climate and communication subcommittee*

Robert Fanuzzi, Chair, Assessment and Reporting subcommittee*

Sophie Bell, Chair, Personal and Professional Development subcommittee*

Ingrid Fray, Faculty Equity and Inclusion Liason*

*Executive committee members also serve on the advisory committee