RUTHERFORD, NJ – Onya Brown Esq., Associate Dean of Equity & Compliance and the Title IX Coordinator, is embracing accessibility in her new role as head of Felician University’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Council. Founded in 2023, the JEDI Council at Felician was commissioned by President Crawford, and is rooted in the university’s Felician Franciscan core values. The Council serves the purpose of promoting an academic environment where all identities, experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives are valued and respected.
Brown initially joined Felician staff as the university’s Title IX Coordinator in 2021. Title IX is a federal law that ensures every member of the Felician University community has equal access to the university’s educational resources, full participation in all of Felician’s activities and protection from discrimination based on sexual identity. The Title IX Office also supports Felician’s inclusive learning and working environment by providing education and training, helpful resources, a fair and equitable resolution process. She brings years of relevant Title IX field experience to her position as the legal investigator at Vassar University, as well as from her work with victims of domestic violence and domestic assault while earning her Juris Doctor at the University of Connecticut.
In August 2022, President Crawford tasked Brown with heading Felician’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives on campus, including the formation of the JEDI council. “President Crawford envisioned the JEDI Council as the guarantors for equity and inclusion on Felician’s campus,” said Onya Brown Esq. “Our goal is to ensure that Felician University is as inclusive and welcoming as possible and continues to be a place where everyone feels that they belong.”
Overseeing the formation and implementation of the JEDI Council, Brown conducted extensive research on DEI initiatives from other private and public institutions, Catholic universities, and more. The JEDI Council is now divided into six subcommittees, which seek to engage every sector of the Felician University Community. Engaging with students and community members, as well as reviewing university policies and procedures, academic activities and curriculum, and programming, Onya Brown and Felician’s JEDI Council convene bi-weekly to workshop solutions and develop strategies for inclusion on Felician’s campuses.
“I want students to know that, both within the JEDI Council and the Title IX office, we are here, and we are for them,” said Brown. “Student opinion matters to us, and our doors are always open. For Title IX specifically, students reporting Title IX or DEI concerns always have the option to remain anonymous, and filing a report does not have to mean launching an investigation. Sometimes, a student just needs to talk. That’s what we’re here for.”
Felician University’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Council and Title IX Office are committed to the university’s Franciscan values of human dignity and justice and peace. Learn more about JEDI at Felician University here: https://felician.edu/about-felician-university/justice-equity-diversity-and-inclusion-jedi/
About Felician University
Felician University inspires and engages more than 2,100 undergraduate, graduate, and adult education students through programs in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Business & Information Sciences, Nursing, and Education. Over the past five years, Felician University has ranked 3rd among private institutions in New Jersey for best value according to payscale.com and #1 Safest College Campus in New Jersey according to niche.com. The Master of Science in Nursing program is ranked one of the best online graduate nursing programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Felician University was designated as a Military Friendly School (Gold Status) for the ninth year recognizing its strong support for Veteran students. The university is recognized for its diversity as an HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution) and MSI (Minority Serving Institution), having underrepresented students comprise more than half of the student population. With campuses in Rutherford and Lodi, New Jersey, the Franciscan values of social justice, compassion, and respect for human dignity serve as an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow’s leaders. For more information, please visit https://felician.edu.