The Mission of the JEDI Committee is to ensure that Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is a welcoming institution committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as an expression of our shared Core Values, the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, and Catholic Social Teaching. Representing students, faculty, and staff from several departments, both on campus and online, the JEDI Committee ensures that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni authentically embrace the many dimensions of diversity and cultivate a sense of belonging for all.
In September 2018, the Center for Sustainable Communities convened a small group of faculty and staff to (1) develop a statement that expresses diversity, equity, and inclusion at Saint Joseph’s College, (2) explore what a person-centered approach to these issues mean within the Mercy context, and (3) draft a policy to present to the Leadership Team and Board of Trustees by the end of Fall 2018. This cross-section of faculty and staff that came together to achieve these goals was known as the JEDI Workgroup.
Two years later, on July 2, 2020, President Jim Dlugos issued a Call to Action against Racism, urging members of the College to “undertake serious and meaningful action to begin undoing structural racism and its presence within – and impact on – our community.” He also released an updated strategic plan with the goal that “Saint Joseph’s College will be a diverse, multigenerational learning community.” The JEDI Workgroup came back together to achieve the president’s seven JEDI initiatives aimed at shaping an anti-racist Saint Joseph’s College at all levels. This strategic initiative concluded with the hiring of the Associate Vice President for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Mouhamadou B. Diagne.
Under the leadership of our new AVP of JEDI, that group has now expanded into a formal All-College JEDI Committee featuring several faculty, staff, and students from across the college to help advance the goals of making Saint Joseph’s College into a model of inclusive excellence in the State of Maine.
Given the changing demographics of our country, the state of Maine, and the growing racial and ethnic diversity in our student body, the JEDI All-College Committee works to improve our radical hospitality, listening from a place of vulnerability to others’ experiences, and growing sustainable learning communities. In the words of Catherine McAuley, our community should be characterized by “a true, sincere, and heartfelt affection for all.”
Mouhamadou B. Diagne, Associate Vice President of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)
Mylan Bannon, Executive Associate to Senior Vice President of Learning and Programs
Ashley Bigda, Manager, Career Exploration & Engagement
Stephanie Briggs, Director of Partnerships and Professional Development
Caitlin Eldridge, Faculty and Program Director of the Department of Social Work
Jared Felker, Aquatics Coordinator and Head Men’s & Women’s Swim Coach
Jordan Ferguson, Database and Systems Administrator
Chris Fuller, Vice President and Chief Sponsorship & Mission Integration Officer
Mark Hibben, Faculty in the Department of Political Science & History
Carl Howell, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
Tanya Iverson, Senior Academic Advisor & Campus Enrollment Liaison
Michelle Laughran, Faculty in the Department of History
Rupert Lewis, Head Field Hockey Coach
Sarah McEachin, Senior Associate Director of Online Advising & Engagement
Kareem Myrick, Director of IT Support & Campus Services
Kimberly Post, Faculty and Chair of the Department Leadership for Sustainable Communities
Josh Schoenfeld, Faculty in the Department of Psychology
Chris Sullivan, Faculty in the Department of Fine Arts
- Lead the campus in the implementation of the strategic plan that focuses on justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, access, and belonging.
- Develop strategies to strengthen the recruitment and retention of faculty, students, and staff so as to promote an inclusive environment.
- Create an environment where all are encouraged to challenge the status quo around issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Advise the president and the leadership team on key issues pertaining to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Include the topic of anti-racism and equity in Saint Joe’s curriculum.
- Examine the policies at the college to ensure adequacy in supporting the needs of traditionally underrepresented students, faculty, and staff; and revise them as needed.
- Regularly audit our practices and culture relative to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Partner with departments across the institution to provide support groups and programing centering people of diverse dimensions of diversity, including heritage and ability.
Digital Suggestion Box
Use this form to submit suggestions and feedback regarding justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion at Saint Joseph's College of Maine. We are always interested in hearing comments and suggestions to better meet St. Joe's mission and core values. All submissions will be reviewed by the JEDI All-College Committee during our weekly meeting. If you would like to be contacted, please let us know and we will get back to you.