Multicultural Student Initiatives


Roger Williams University's Multicultural Student Initiatives (MSI) aims to foster a community of equitable access and success for marginalized students. Student access, success and equity are at the forefront of MSI programmming. Our student-centered programs and services are rooted in challenging and supporting students to and through college.


Multicultural Student Initiatives provides support, guidance, and advising to students. In addition to working with students, Multicultural Student Initiatives collaborates with multiple departments across campus and offers a host of programs.

SOAR (Strive Overcome Achieve Rise) is a support program for first year students who are the first in their families to go to college. SOAR helps students navigate their first year at Roger Williams University and empowers students with the knowledge and tools they will need to succeed!

Attending college will be more than going to class and getting involved. College is also filled with questions about financial aid, academic standing, and career preparation. SOAR is an introduction to those experiences.

SOAR students will have the opportunity to be mentored by faculty mentors who serve as partners to help first year students navigate their first academic year at RWU and will advocate for your success. With SOAR, you will become a member of a large  community of students who will support and learn from each other. The ultimate goal of SOAR is to help students understand the resources and opportunities available and to begin to take the initiative to make their RWU experience their own.

students and staff standing outside in a group with SOAR t-shirts on.

Student can accrue points by participating in events, meetings and activities during the course of the semester. Students who accrue a total of 200 SOAR points by the end of the semester, will have a $500 tuition award applied to the following semester bill. For students who earn 200 points in the fall semester, the award will be applied in the spring semester. For students who earn 200 points in the spring semester, the credit will be applied to the following fall semester. The credit cannot be applied to summer courses.


For more information contact:

Takara Roderick, Assistant Director, Multicultural Student Initiatives

The Black Diasporic Themed Community is a multi-year living community at RWU. This community is designed to help you get the most out of your years at RWU by strengthening the connection between the classroom and the residence hall, and helping you in the transition from high school to and through college. As a member of the Black Diasporic Themed Community, you will have the support and encouragement you need to make the most of your college experience.

image of 5 students sitting in a row, holding a newspaper with a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. for a Black History Month performance.

Live in a multi-year, multiethnic/diasporic residential community of students who connect around the shared identity and experiences of being racially Black. This community excelled academically last year and has started having a campus wide impact. The Black Diasporic Themed Community is dedicated to the empowerment of Black students at Roger Williams University. Students thrive through community engagement, professional development, social and emotional support, off-campus networking, and connecting with local Black community members.

As a member of this supportive living learning community, you will live with Black students with a variety of diasporic identities including African American, Caribbean, Latinx, Multiracial and continental Africa. Together, you will empower and strengthen your academic, social, cultural and emotional wellness at RWU. The Black Diasporic Themed Community is a foundation through mentorship from your peers and also connects you with RWU’s faculty who identify as Black and is designed to give you a sense of belonging to ensure your overall success on campus!

Find your community, learn about yourself and develop as a leader!


A student standing in front of a microphone during a Black History Month performance.

How to Join the Black Diasporic Themed Community

As a newly accepted student, in mid-April, you will be able to go online through your Roger account and fill out a housing questionnaire regarding your living preferences. A question regarding your interest in Themed Communities will be included, among other general questions concerning your study habits, sleeping habits, music, etc. It is here that you can opt into living in the Black Diasporic Themed Community. For returnerning students, in February you can go through the online housing process and choose Black Diasporic Themed Community.

For more information, contact us at