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What We Do

To fulfill its mission, Providence College must continually foster a community in which members from all backgrounds can learn, live, and thrive. The Office of Institutional Diversity, led by the Chief Diversity Officer and supported by the Committee for Diversity Implementation (CDI), is tasked with implementing and assessing the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan for Diversity.

We work across campus constituencies to coordinate and facilitate new and existing diversity initiatives and programs. Working collaboratively, across divisions and with members of the local community, we strive to develop a common vision of a diverse campus community where all members are encouraged “to talk and to listen, and to learn from one another.”

Current initiatives focus on these thematic areas:
  •     Campus Climate
  •     Recruitment and Retention
  •     Diversity Education and Training
  •     Community Engagement
  •     Diverse Interactions


The Office of Institutional Diversity aims to work collaboratively with the Providence College community to support the initiatives, goals, and strategies of departments. We can work with individuals, groups, or departments to provide or facilitate

  • One-on-One Consultation
  • Classroom Presentations or Discussions
  • Diversity Presentations or Discussions
  • Diversity Development Workshops

Rafael Angel Zapata
Associate Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer
Phone: (401) 865-2878
Fax: (401) 865-1710

​​Tierra Marshall
Assistant Director
Phone: (401) 865-2889
Fax: (401) 865-1710

Cathy O'Leary
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (401) 865-2836
Fax: (401) 865-1710

Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., '80, Providence College President: “The whole goal of education is to have your mind and your heart be enlarged.” (1:11)


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Guided by our belief in the essential dignity of every person, the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) at Providence College strives to create an academic and campus culture that attracts and supports the development of a stellar and diverse community of students, faculty and staff that reflect the diversity of the Catholic Church, and broader world in which we live and work.

A diverse campus community is inextricably linked to academic excellence. It provides a rich intellectual environment, consisting of a broader range of questions, perspectives, and scholarly interests, better preparing all our graduates to live, work and serve others in an increasingly global and multicultural society.

Featured Event

Yesenia Barragan.Event Flyer.pdfTo the Mine I Will Not GoBarragan, PC Presentation Image.jpg
Freedom and the Abolition of Slavery on the Colombian Black Pacific 1821-1852

Yesenia Barragan, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Columbia University
Oct. 2, 4:30 pm, Slavin Center 112 (Fishbowl)

This presentation examines the social repercussions of this Law of the Free Womb in the Republic of New Granada (modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador), established in 1821, specifically focusing on the Pacific Coastal province of Chocó, once the gold-mining center of the former Spanish empire. More info...


Office of Institutional Diversity Newsletter
The OID Newsletter which will be published several times during the year and will provide the PC community with information on the initiatives, goals and objectives that the OID undertakes to advance the College's Strategic Plan for Diversity in support of the College's mission.

A Message to the Providence College Community from Father Shanley
At Providence College, we seek to create an environment characterized by openness, fairness, and equal access for all students, staff, and faculty. A welcoming and inclusive campus climate is grounded in mutual respect, nurtured by dialogue, and characterized by a pattern of civil interaction. Creating and maintaining a community environment that respects individual needs, abilities, and potential is critically important.


Diversity News More

Language Assignment
Students translate marketing information into Spanish for Parent Program.

Step Up
PC offers bystander training to help keep members of the Friar family safe.

Friar Foundations
25 members of the Class of 2018 spent 5 weeks on campus this summer, earning credits while learning about college life.

Embracing Community
Hispanic community members share Mass, meal, fellowship with PC staff.

Catholic and Dominican

What does it mean to be a Catholic and Dominican college? We invite you to explore this question and the distinctive mission of Providence College.
About Providence College's Catholic and Dominican Identity