St. John Fisher University Joins National Inclusive Learning Consortium

March 20, 2023

To advance its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, St. John Fisher University has joined Belong, an inclusive learning consortium through the national Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Leaders of each of the student affinity clubs on campus.

Belong is a network of CIC member colleges and universities dedicated to becoming inclusively excellent institutions. Designed in partnership with the Association of College and University Educators, Belong offers a suite of professional development resources for faculty and staff to support student belonging in the classroom and campus-wide.  

“For 75 years, St. John Fisher University has been committed to access and to creating a culture of belonging. That work continues and our partnership with the Belong network will enhance those efforts, bringing national resources and expertise to our faculty and staff to ensure that we are applying best practices on our campus,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the University.

The program is adapted to each campus’ unique vision and mission, providing tools and resources that the institution can use to craft and sustain DEI efforts and foster a culture of belonging. At Fisher, Belong will include four principal objectives that are aligned with the University’s Strategic Plan, including intentionally incorporating elements of Fisher’s Basilian heritage into work that will demonstrate the University’s sincere, holistic interest in each student’s life; attract, support, and retain a diverse workforce through best practices in talent management; expand training opportunities to infuse inclusive practices across the University; and leverage student and employee interests and develop an infrastructure to coordinate volunteerism that further strengthens community relations and partnerships.

“In many ways, growing infrastructures to support a strong culture of belonging on campus is just an extension of efforts to be more welcoming of students, faculty, and staff members. Being part of CIC’s Belong network represents an important commitment for St. John Fisher University as a potential lever of change, both for student success and employee wellness and growth,” said Dr. Marlowe V.N. Washington, senior diversity officer.

Through Belong, Fisher will gain access to nationally recognized credentials; webinars that address issues of inclusivity and belonging with implementation best practices; on-demand DEI engagement resources; and online opportunities for shared learning and networking on DEI issues and best practices for campus leaders through communities of practice.

Fisher plans to launch its Belong efforts through its Inclusion Council, who will work to recommend efforts and initiatives.

For more information, visit the DEI website on