Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Founded by Gertrude Johnson and Mary T. Wales before women had secured the right to vote, Johnson & Wales University is firmly committed to nurturing and further strengthening an inclusive and equitable environment that embraces the broad range of diversity of all members of our community no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, physical ability or how and if they worship. Our community accepts and celebrates diversity in every form — including diversity in thought.

Johnson & Wales University commits to anti-racist work and offers academic and co-curricular opportunities that are welcoming, educational and open spaces of inclusivity and exploration for all students, faculty, staff and alumni. We strive to inspire a standard of excellence for all members of the Wildcat family and seek to foster an equitable environment where differences are valued and integrated in all aspects of university life.

As an institution, we are committed to listen, learn and to implement lasting change. MARIE BERNARDO-SOUSA, LP.D., '92, President, Providence Campus

Facts & Stats

JWU’s university and campus fact sheets provide a quick summary of Johnson & Wales University’s mission, strategic plan and key facts and numbers relevant to the entire JWU community. For complete information, view the latest JWU Fact Sheets.

Stats: Providence Enrollment by Ethnicity (Fall 2022 Update)
Stats: Charlotte Campus Enrollment by Ethnicity (Fall 2022)

Club & Organizations Spotlight: Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship, Inc.

JWU has more than 100 clubs and organizations that are open to all students. All groups have a commitment to inclusive excellence, and many play an active role in promoting social justice by creating space for students to connect with one another and engage with issues that are impacting today’s world. This space will regularly spotlight some of these clubs and organizations.

JWU Providence student organization Swing Phi Swing

Swing Phi Swing Social Fellowship Inc. was founded on the campus of Winston-Salem University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1969. The 12 founders — all daring women — aimed to create a non-Greek organization for women outside of the D9 to promote growth and intelligence. Swing Phi Swing holds itself to a high standard in contributing to its national programs of health, mentoring, education and global outreach and optimism in the diaspora.

Founded in 2000, the home Chapter of Subira Chemwuapu has served as an outlet to young women at JWU Providence, with a commitment to empowering sisters and peers to be their best selves. The organization prides itself on individuality through “Daring to be different.” This past year, sisters of Subira have done work both locally and internationally, including projects with Big Sisters Club, writing with domestic violence shelters, and donating personal protective equipment (PPE).

In this upcoming year, Sisters of Swing plans to host information tables on campus focused on sexual assault and mental illness. In doing so, the organization hopes to remind women and men that they are not alone and there is someone always willing to lend a helping hand and listen when they need someone to hear them.

Video: Spotlight on the Black Student Alliance

The Black Student Alliance hosted the first JWU BSA Fest in 2022 in recognition of Black History Month. Watch this video spotlight focusing on the BSA:

2021-22 JWU Providence Cultural Program of the Year: Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity

The Cultural Program of the Year student leadership award has been established to recognize a program that promotes culture, diversity, inclusion, and global awareness at the JWU Providence campus. The award is given to the organization that has been innovative in the development, implementation, and delivery of a successful program.

The Student Occupational Therapy Association’s Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity has been honored as the 2021-22 Cultural Program of the Year for their dedication and involvement.

Since forming in 2019, the Student Occupational Therapy Association has worked to not only promote their organization on campus, but also ensure that diversity, equity & inclusion are integrated into every aspect of their work.

Disability awareness, gender and identity awareness, and understanding and respecting rights of those incarcerated are examples of topics they have addressed. In their award-winning program this year, the group worked to raise awareness of the importance of understanding diversity and cultural humility within their professional field. Their presentation to their state association was so impressive and impactful that the state-level group has since created its own task force on diversity.

Previous Cultural Program winners:

  • 2021: Black History 101: Mobile Museum; Black Student Alliance, University Involvement Board, National Panhellenic Council
  • 2020: MLK Teach-In; Alpha Phi Alpha
  • 2019: Dashain; Namaste Nepal
  • 2017: Raices Week; Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.
  • 2016: World Carnival; Cultural Connections Club
  • 2015: Diversity at the University: “Dear White People” screening and discussion; University Involvement Board
  • 2014: Kwanzaa; Black Student Alliance and Groove Phi Groove

The Bridge Faculty Fellow Program

JWU created the Bridge Faculty Fellow Program in 2021. This fellowship identifies individuals who will rotate through the position, working to enhance campus-wide knowledge and awareness of racial justice.

Our first Faculty Fellows were Thomas Gaines, associate professor of the Providence Campus’ College of Arts & Sciences; and Marco McWilliams, associate director of education & training, The Center for Reconciliation.

Associate Professor Jessica Holden Sherwood, John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences, occupied this role during the 2021-22 academic year and will be continuing her fellowship for the 2022-23 academic year.

Sherwood’s work includes providing resources and programming to both students and employees, gathering information about JWU activities and indicators, and supporting university divisions and colleges in their racial equity work.

Group of JWU students laughing together


Accessibility Services / Center for Academic Support

JWU is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodations to give students with learning disabilities, physical challenges, and chronic medical conditions the opportunity to succeed in their academic pursuits. While maintaining the highest academic integrity, the university strives to balance academic rigor with support services that help students with disabilities function in a higher learning environment.

Accessibility Services

Black Lives Matter Resources – Providence Campus

This resource page has been created based on feedback from students who have participated in recent conversations. Thank you for your ideas, energy and commitment to this vital work. We value our diverse campus community and look forward to deepening JWU’s commitment to a campus culture in which every student is welcomed, respected and heard.

Black Lives Matter Resources

The Bridge for Diversity, Equity & Social Justice

The Bridge provides educational programs, workshops and resources to promote inclusive excellence, human rights and social justice. Located in the Xavier Academic Complex on the Downcity Campus, it serves as a space where all members of the JWU community can come together to engage in a variety of issues.

Learn more about JWU Bridge Email The Bridge

English and Language Culture Academy (ESL) - Providence Campus

JWU offers academic acceptance and admission to our English as a Second Language (ESL) program (non-degree), available at our Providence Campus. Both of our campuses have resources that support our students to succeed academically through our Student Academic & Financial Services (SAFS) department. Students in our ESL program have access to all that we offer, including on-campus housing, dining, libraries and more.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Equity & Compliance Services

Equity & Compliance Services is dedicated to fostering ethical practices. By promoting a culture of equity and compliance, the department strives to advance JWU’s commitment to creating an environment that values integrity as evidenced by shared respect and responsibility.

Equity & Compliance Services

Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Action Group (IDEA)

The Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Action Group (IDEA Group) was formed on the Providence campus in August 2020. Individuals from across Johnson & Wales University staff, faculty, and administration have volunteered to dedicate their time and expertise to ensure that our campus is truly inclusive for all members of our community. The formation of the IDEA Group evolved out of the recognized need and responsibility to evaluate and strengthen equity and inclusion efforts to support all members of the JWU community, especially those from historically underrepresented groups.

Email IDEA

International Student Services Office

Our International Student Services Office (ISSO) will help you find what you need on and off campus. The ISSO staff will help you transition to life on campus and in the U.S. while assisting you with immigration-related matters, employment authorization, income tax returns and more. Our student volunteers will help you come to know and love JWU as much as they do.

International Student Services Office


JWU Library stands with Black Lives Matter in denouncing systemic racism and working to address oppression. We are committed to centering voices and stories that have been historically silenced. Representation matters. Stories matter. Intersectionality matters. Reading and listening to marginalized voices is crucial in building an actively anti-racist society. Take a step to dismantle oppression by centering the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as they call out for change. This reading list is a living document and will be updated regularly; to suggest a book or join our Virtual Book Club, contact Sarah Campbell or Jenny Castel.

Black Lives Matter & Anti-Racism Resources LibGuide

Student Organizations

There are dozens of active clubs and organizations on the Providence and Charlotte campuses open to students.

Providence Student Organizations

Charlotte Student Organizations

Study Abroad

Make the world your classroom! Credit and non-credit learning opportunities that broaden global perspectives to foster an engaged community.

Study Abroad

Wildcat Learning Effectiveness in Action Program (LEAP)

From your first day at JWU, you have access to a broad range of services including tutoring and mentorship programs, health and counseling services, accessibility accommodations and many more. There’s an entire JWU community behind you to help you thrive and make the most of your potential.

Wildcat LEAP


Working at JWU 

At JWU, each one of us has come to JWU to excel, to contribute and to follow our passions and meet our goals. We cultivate and take pride in our diverse and inclusive community, which inspires excellence, innovation and an enhanced student experience. 

Johnson & Wales University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by law. 

JWU Employment