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    Diversity & Inclusion

    Roger Williams University has historically valued the importance of diverse perspectives in a dynamic learning environment. While elements of diversity are embodied in our core values, Inclusive Excellence has been formalized as an institutional priority with a strategy in place to engage the entire community in promoting diversity awareness and to build a diversity program that touches every aspect of campus life – from academics, student programming, hiring and training to bias response, purchasing and community outreach.

    The President's Council on Inclusive Excellence is a committee comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives that is convened regularly to help guide strategic decisions relating to diversity issues at RWU. We understand that cultivating a climate of respect and appreciation for the value of the differences that each of us brings to the RWU community is an ongoing process, and Inclusive Excellence will be a continuously evolving effort that will be woven into the fabric of our culture.

    The Alliance

    The Alliance serves the academic, professional, and extracurricular interests of the LGBTQ community at RWU Law with the purpose of educating and ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

    Asian Student Association

    The Asian Student Association club is a place for Asians, non-Asians, and Internationals who are interested in exploring the different cultural aspects of Asia. 

    Diversity Leadership Program

    The Diversity Leadership Program is a mentoring and leadership program geared toward supporting underrepresented students. Freshmen and first-year transfer students may receive a mentor by contacting  Don Mays, Director of the Intercultural Center

    Diversity Living Learning Community

    Students believing in the concepts of egalitarianism, pluralism, social justice, and personal empowerment to bring change will find that this Living-Learning Community gives them an opportunity to examine their own experiences and those of others as they intersect with gender, sexuality, race, class, nation, and religion.

    Contact: Bob Cole

    Global Fest

    Global Fest is a campus-wide festival that celebrates cultural diversity and international connections through performances, music, activities, displays, international food, and information booths.

    Contact: Juliane Shindo

    Hawk Ally Program

    The Hawk Ally Program is designed to educate administrators, staff and faculty about the experiences and concerns of LGBTQ members of our community as well as provide tools for creating supportive environments for LGBTQ students.

    Contact:  Don Mays, Director of the Intercultural Center


    Hillel is the religious, social, cultural, and political group for Jewish students on campus. Students gather regularly for Shabbat and celebrate holidays, share cultural experiences, talk about Jewish and Israeli issues, and offer programming on the Jewish experience.

    Contact: Hillel interim advisor, Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup

    Intercultural Center

    The Intercultural Center provides student support and outreach, programming, and intercultural learning in 5 areas: International, Multicultural, LGBTQ. Spiritual Life, and the Diversity Leadership Program.

    Contact:  Don Mays, Director of the Intercultural Center

    Intercultural Leadership Ambassador (ILA) Committee

    The ILA Advisory Committee is comprised of Faculty, Administrators and Staff (including recent ILA grads) in place to support all aspects of ILA’s success as students and leaders.

    Contact:  Don Mays, Director of the Intercultural Center

    InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF)

    IVCF is an interdenominational student fellowship committed to advancing witnessing communities who follow Jesus Christ as Lord. They does this through outreach to God's people of every ethnicity and culture. Students gather for Bible studies, fellowship, guest speakers, social events, and retreats.

    Contact: IVCF advisor, Sarah Cowan Johnson
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    Latino Policy Institute

    The Latino Policy Institute (LPI) is committed to generating and communicating non-partisan data of Latinos in Rhode Island. The LPI will stimulate public policy discourse and enhance the public's understanding of the Rhode Island Latino experience.

    Contact: Anna Cano-Morales

    LGBTQ Faculty Sub-Committee

    Dedicated to equality and inclusivity at RWU, by brainstorming solutions for positive change, and encouraging and supporting programs to enrich LGBTQ life and identity.

    Contact: Laura D'Amore

    Leadership Unity Day

    Our RWU Unity Day welcomes new students to RWU and provides an introduction to support systems on campus, to student groups that are engaged in diversity and social justice, and provides a half-day exploration of issues that can create barriers in our society. Through fun, educational and interactive activities, we seek to break down those barriers that separate us in order to build understanding and community and to cultivate a campus culture that is increasingly inclusive.
    Contact:  Don Mays, Director of the Intercultural Center

    The Locker Room

    The Locker Room is a male-only gender interest group that meets to talk about what it means to be a man, both at Roger Williams and in the world.

    Contact: Corey Brown, Coordinator of Education at Bayside Apartment

    The Multi-Cultural Law Students Association (MCLSA)

    The Multi-Cultural Law Students Association (MCLSA) engages in programs that are in the interest of low income communities and communities of color. A few of our annual events include an international potluck, a fundraiser for the Innocence Project, and a high school immersion day at the law school.

    Contact: Josh Xavier

    Multicultural Student Union (MSU)

    The Multicultural Student Union is a progressive group of students that collaborate with others to provide educational opportunities on matters of diversity. We seek to demonstrate how people from diverse backgrounds, values and beliefs can work together to create a safe and inclusive environment for the student body. Ultimately, fostering the growth of the Roger Williams University community.

    Contact: Jeronima Panjoj-Nix
    Facebook Page

    Muslim Students’ Association (MSA)

    MSA creates a platform for Muslim students to promote mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims and to clarify the misconceptions associated with Islam. MSA meets for regular discussions, informational sessions, social, and religious activities. A prayer room at the Intercultural Center offers a space for daily prayers.

    Contact: Rev. Nancy Soukup

    The National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI)

    The National Coalition Building Institute is an international training organization. A Campus Team of students and staff provide workshops on prejudice reduction and community building.

    Contact: Allison Chase Padula


    OutRWU is an affinity group for faculty and staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning. The group has formed to offer fellowship and support to the LGBTQ faculty and staff of RWU. The group currently meets monthly for Brown Bag lunches. Dates and times vary. Members communicate through a listserv. For more information or to join the listserv, contact Danny DiCamillo at

    RWU Catholic Campus Ministry

    The ministry enriches the quality of life on campus for Catholic students through weekly Mass on Sundays, community service-oriented programs, as well as spiritual, intellectual, and social activities.

    Contact: Ministry advisor, Madge Thombs

    The Office of Diversity & Outreach at RWU Law

    The Office of Diversity & Outreach at RWU Law provides support to diverse students in their academic, social and professional development through workshops, one-on-one student counseling and support of student organizations.  It also oversees all of the law school’s diversity initiatives and programs.

    Contact: Deborah L. Johnson, Esq., Director of Diversity & Outreach

    Sexuality Advocacy for Everyone (SAFE)

    SAFE is the campus-wide gay-straight alliance group at Roger Williams University.  Annual events include  Pride Week during April and Transgender Day of Remembrance. SAFE is highly involved with other diversity organizations on campus, and often advises and advocates for issues of multiculturalism on campus.


    Social Justice Week

    Social Justice Week offers students the opportunity to experience activism by focusing awareness on issues of inequality and oppression on a local and global scale. 

    Contact: Laura D'Amore

    The Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs

    The Spiegel Center oversees all study abroad, exchange and international grant programs. These programs allow our students to have an intercultural experience, creating a more diverse campus.

    Contact: Kevin Hayden

    The Spiritual Life Program

    The Spiritual Life Program welcomes students, faculty, staff, and alumni from all religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions, as well as those who are in exploration. The Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup is the University Multifaith Chaplain. Her responsibilities are to provide pastoral care to the RWU community—students, staff, faculty, and alumni—and to coordinate the multifaith initiatives sponsored by the Interfaith Council and the Intercultural Center.

    Contact: Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup

    Sustained Dialogue

    The Sustained Dialogue group is student lead initiative that works towards creating a safe and inclusive environment for all aspects of identity.


    The Women's Center

    The Women’s Center serves as a support and resource area for all students. Members of the Women’s Center meet weekly to develop awareness programs and other educational opportunities for the campus community. Exploring current issues facing women, this group also serves as a support network. The Women’s Center creates, facilitates and sponsors programming to educate and enrich the lives of all RWU students.

    Contact: Jen Stanley, Director

    2012 Inclusive Excellence Summit

    The goals of the summit were:

    • Share information about Inclusive Excellence efforts on campus across groups
    • Better understand priorities and initiatives from each groups perspective 
    • Encourage groups to make connections for future collaborative work and action that will benefit the campus
    • Provide a support network for students, faculty and staff engaged in diversity efforts

    Download/View the PDF for a full overview (7.91 MB)