MIT's Diversity Story
The Diversity Leadership Congress, November 2008, was a springboard for an array of distributed efforts across the Institute. As Institute leaders with responsibilities for diversity and inclusion, we are meeting regularly to coordinate our efforts and begin to shape a shared agenda. From the over 1000 comments generated by the Congress, we have identified five current strategies for advancing diversity and inclusion at MIT:
- Grow the network of distributed leadership across campus
- Increase the general knowledge and understanding of Diversity & Inclusion (D & I)
- Ensure a clear and consistent message and maintain the visibility of D&I as a MIT priority
- Embed D & I into all relevant MIT practices and processes
- Pilot tools that will enable individuals and groups to leverage diversity
Each of these strategies is being implemented through a combination of the following initiatives:
Expand the efforts of the Committee on Race and Diversity - The Committee, consisting of faculty, staff and students, is implementing an active agenda which includes creating a Speaker Series, revising its Grants Process, proposing the creation of a multicultural concentration, and expanding the audience for the MLK celebration activities.
Use the website as a platform for distributed conversation- Through submitting and responding to People profiles and Blogs, members of the MIT community can use the website to raise questions and share ideas and strategies.
Respond to Initiative on Faculty Race and Diversity- The Associate Provosts for Faculty Equity, Wesley Harris and Barbara Liskov, will assist with responding to the recommendations to be published by this committee, chaired by Prof. Paula Hammond, this fall.
Update the MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars program- The application process and website will be updated, and more events to showcase the contributions of the MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars will be held.
Support the new GSC Diversity Task Force- The Graduate Student Council has created a Diversity Taskforce which is hosting an educational series, supporting the development of graduate student affinity groups, and bringing the voice of graduate students to the CRD and the “Inventing Our Future” website.
Host events to highlight successful programs and strategies- The CRD and the Office of Minority Education will coordinate panel discussions which showcase existing programs and successful strategies for supporting underrepresented minority and women students in the transition to academic careers.
Expand the efforts of the Council on Staff Diversity & Inclusion (CSDI)- Sponsored by the Vice President for Human Resources, the Council is developing goals for the coming year to leverage and support the five strategic themes.
Outreach by the Office of Staff Diversity- This HR Office is consulting with departments, labs and centers and providing tools and best practices in support of building an inclusive environment; hosting educational sessions; and piloting, with Lincoln Lab, a staff mentoring guidebook. In addition, the Office is completing the 2009 Affirmative Action process.
In addition, we are exploring the hosting of department-or school-specific conversations on diversity, much like Lincoln Lab recently hosted its own “Diversity Leadership Congress.” If your unit would like assistance in hosting such an event, please contact Aaron Weinberger.