Aerial view of Saint Joseph's University campus with Philadelphia skyline in the background

Embracing Diversity,
Building Cultural Competency

As a Jesuit university, we set a high bar: to educate and care for the whole person, across differences that span gender, beliefs, ethnicity, sexual identity and more. We work to instill a deep sense of belonging and respect in everyone at Saint Joseph’s — to that end, all faculty and incoming students attend training sessions to understand and avoid the influence of unconscious bias.

Brochure Fast Facts and Strategy

Saint Joseph's University students at the annual Holi celebration on campus

Our Commitment

Saint Joseph's University's students in a gray grid of photos.

Strategic Overview


Facts and Information

Reaching Higher: Creating a More Diverse, Inclusive Community

Inclusivity is what a Jesuit education is all about. Together, we’re energizing our efforts with a systemic, inter-relational approach to diversity and inclusion. It’s a pillar of our strategic plan. 



And we’re building momentum. From our award-winning Diversity Lecture Series to gender-inclusive bathrooms and a Center for Inclusion and Diversity in the heart of our student center, we’re creating a Saint Joseph’s University that embraces everyone, and we’re committed to continuous improvement in this area.





Undergraduate Diversity


Of the class of 2024 identify as first-generation.


Countries are represented in the class of 2024.


Of the class of 2024 identify as non–Roman Catholic.


Of the class of 2024 are female; 49% are male.

Class of 2024

6%identify as African American/Black
10.8%identify as Hispanic/Latinx
3.6%identify as Asian
2.3%identify as multiracial

Creating an Inclusive Environment

  • In recent years, we’ve taken steps to develop new programs and infrastructure to provide all students, staff and faculty with a comfortable and supportive campus. 

    Since 2019, freshman orientation has included this workshop, which sparks conversations about issues of structural inequality via a board game in which players encounter barriers and benefits based on their unique intersection of race, gender and sexual orientation.

    Learn more


    The Center for Inclusion and Diversity
    The Center provides a space for all students to come together for programming, discussion and support services.

    Explore services


    Office of International Students and Scholars

    This office advances our commitment to inclusion and diversity by providing the environment and opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and engagement. 

    Read more


    Safe Zones 
    We have been offering Safe Zone training to faculty, staff and students since 2001. More than 500 people have been trained to be allies to LGBTQIA members of our campus community.

    Get training
    Find an ally


    Gender Inclusive Restrooms
    There are 40 all-gender restrooms on campus.

    Find a restroom


    Bias Incident Reporting Protocol
    Bias- or hate-motivated conduct creates barriers to inclusion and trust. All campus members are responsible to respond to harmful incidents quickly and effectively in order to ensure the well-being of targeted individuals and groups, to facilitate collective learning, and to re-establish clear norms to prevent future incidents.

    Report a bias incident


    President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity 
    Students, faculty, staff and administrators appointed by the president advise University leaders on critical issues, coordinate inclusion initiatives and evaluate and track campus climate.

    Meet the Council

  • Saint Joseph’s students celebrate and promote a campus community that values everyone. Student-run affinity organizations advised by the Center for Inclusion and Diversity host more than 100 events, meetings and programs during the academic year.



2020-2021 Diversity & Inclusion Lecture Series

  • Speaker: Amber Hikes, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

    Intersectional Allyship and How to #BeCivil with Amber Hikes will inspire you to leverage the principles of the #BeCivil campaign to strengthen your personal work as an ally to all of our communities. This interactive session draws upon the new policies and practices of SJU’s Diversity & Inclusion programming work to empower all of us to be ambassadors of inclusivity and belonging. Amber will affirm your ability to change the world while they hold you to actually doing it. You'll leave with tools to be a better ally, resources to understand your role in community building, and a renewed commitment for justice. Join us as we learn from this inspiring leader how we can be accountable and brave, intentional and bold, sustainable and strong in our work to do better for ourselves, each other, and the world.

    Add to Your Calendar | Register

  • Speaker: Jonathan Lovitz, Senior Vice President, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

    College and university students are the voices of change for tomorrow’s complex world.  But why wait until tomorrow when you can start making a difference on campus and in your community today? In the age of the internet, your digital voice can move millions to action. Are you aware of just how powerful your voice is in the movements you care most about helping? Learn from Jonathan Lovitz, Senior Vice President, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, how to be the champion your issues and your communities need now more than ever.

    Add to Your Calendar | Register

  • Speaker: Randi Teplitz, Commissioner, PA Commission for Women/ Asst. Dean of Commonwealth Law School Harrisburg, PA, Tiffany Tavarez, Commissioner, PA Commission for Women/ Vice President for Community Relations, Wells Fargo and BJ Leber, Commissioner, PA Commission for Women/ President & CEO of Adagio Health Care for All Women

    Randi Teplitz, Commissioner, PA Commission for Women/ Asst. Dean of Commonwealth Law School Harrisburg, PA, Tiffany Tavarez, Commissioner, PA Commission for Women/ Vice President for Community Relations, Wells Fargo and BJ Leber, Commissioner, PA Commission for Women/ President & CEO of Adagio Health Care for All Women will discuss the continued work of the PA Commission for Women and advocacy for gender and pay equity in the midst of the Covid 19 Workforce as women and women of color have been significantly impacted.

    Add to Your Calendar | Register

  • Speaker: Farah Jimenez, President & CEO, Philadelphia Education Fund

    In 2014, President Obama asked whether we, as a nation, should permit a zip code to determine a young person’s future.  Clearly a rhetorical question, his query gave rise to a national conversation.  If there is a link between community, education, and success, then what must be done to expand access to opportunity?  In her talk, Ms. Farah Jimenez, President & CEO, Philadelphia Education Fund, draws upon her lifelong career in social justice to examine the question and consider some others:  In what ways might our belief systems present an even greater challenge in our struggle to ensure educational equity?  And, how might challenges to these belief systems alter the ways in which we as individuals and institutions of higher learning deliver on the promise of educational equity?

    Add to Your Calendar | Register

Responding to Racial Injustice

  • Message from the Associate Provost for DEI on October 28

    75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
    A non-exhaustive list of 75 things that white people can do to support racial justice.  

    Gov. Newsom Shares Emotional Story Of Explaining George Floyd's Death To His Children (Video)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom explains how he discusses the death of George Floyd to his four children. 

    Former President Obama On George Floyd's Death And The 'Maddening' Normalcy Of Racism
    Former President Barack Obama provides his thoughts on how the United States can not just return to the normalcy of yesterday but instead to create a new normal of equitable justice.

    Raising Our Voices About Racism
    The head of the Chinese American International School, Jeff Bissell, provides his reflection and a call to action. 

    Op-Ed: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar discusses that the main concern of black people right now isn’t whether they’re standing three or six feet apart, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers, and fathers will be murdered by cops.

    Change the World, not yourself, or how Arendt called out Thoreau
    Author Katie Fitzpatrick explores Hannah Arendt’s discussion of Thoreau’s On Civil Disobedience and the importance of collective disobedience.

    Structural Inequality in Philadelphia | SJU's Unlimited Learning Series

    As the coronavirus swept through Philadelphia, the pandemic shone a light on the deep systemic inequalities in our city. From public health and access, to education to employment and housing, the pandemic exacerbated preexisting gaps in our black and brown communities in the city and beyond. Now, with recent national events also drawing attention to systematic racism at large, the topic is an important one for Philadelphians to face. This conversation moderated by Imani Briscoe '17, feature three Saint Joseph's University experts: Susan Clampet-Lundquist, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and author of Coming of Age in the Other America; Keith Leaphart ’01 (MBA), D.O., Chair of the Lenfest Foundation and President and CEO of Replica Creative; and Nicole Stokes, Ph.D., Associate Provost of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The panel discussed the structural inequalities that exist in everyone's community and provided more insight into how you can be part of advocacy and the promotion of social justice for all. These experts covered topics in their expertise including what is structural inequality, income gaps and inequality, the role of foundations and nonprofits to combat these disparities, and the impact of inequality on younger generations of Philadelphians.


  • Why Do So Many White People Deny The Existence Of White Privilege?
    Brando Simeo Starkey discusses how white people view our society through what sociologist Joe Feagin calls the “white racial frame.” 

    Understanding Race and Privilege
    The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides the role, effects, and a reflection on how privilege plays in our society.

    Why Whites Downplay Their Individual Racial Privileges
    Researchers at Standford University’s Graduate School of Business discuss their research that shows that white Americans when faced with evidence of racial privilege, deny that they have benefited personally.

    Robin DiAngelo, the Author of 'White Fragility', on Implicit Bias and Racism
    The author of 'White Fragility', Robin DiAngelo discusses how addressing racism makes many white people feel anger, fear, and guilt, which leads to denial, minimization, and defensiveness, even though racism inevitably touches everyone.

    Reflections Based on Dr. Peggy McIntosh's Invisible Knapsack

    The Psychology of Radical Healing 
    The Psychology of Radical Healing Collective provides the perspective of what psychology tell us about healing from racial and ethnic trauma.

    What Does White Privilege Look Like?
    For those who may challenge the concept of privilege, below is a list of everyday actions that African-American and black citizens of the United States have done with an unfortunate outcome. As a follow-up, research the names next to each item on this list to understand the history of each of these incidents.

    I have the privilege as a White person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it...

    • I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
    • I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).
    • I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
    • I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
    • I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
    • I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).
    • I can sell CD's (#AltonSterling).
    • I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
    • I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
    • I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
    • I can go to church/Temple (#Charleston9).
    • I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
    • I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
    • I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
    • I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
    • I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
    • I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
    • I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
    • I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
    • I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).
    • I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
    • I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
    • I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
    • I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
    • I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
    • I can run (#WalterScott).
    • I can breathe (#EricGarner).
    • I can live (#FreddieGray).
    • I can ask someone to put a leash on their dog when it is required in the public park we are in (#ChristianCooper).
A plaque honoring MLK's visit to SJU reads: "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a large gathering on October 26, 1967, at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, Saint Joseph's College

Heeding Dr. King’s Call

In 1967, Saint Joseph’s invited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to speak on campus about Americans’ shared destiny: Where do we go from here? Today, we’re still responding to Dr. King’s call to action.