Welcome to "Inventing Our Future," MIT’s diversity and inclusion website.

The purpose of this site is to engage the MIT community in dialogue and action which promotes an increasingly inclusive community. This site will grow as faculty, students, staff and alums add resources, share stories and engage in dialogue. Discuss, Share, Act!

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Institute Diversity Summit 2014

2014 Institute Diversity Summit:
Demystifying Diversity: Challenge, Expand, Broaden your Perspective.

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Institute Community and Equity Office, and Human Resources

Watch videos from the first day of the Summit

Monday, January 27, 2014
Kresge Auditorium

Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. at Kresge Auditorium

1:30 p.m.: Welcome address, Edmund Bertschinger, Institute Community and Equity Officer; Keynote Speaker Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, followed by Summit Keynote Reception in Kresge Auditorium, beginning at 4:00 p.m. President L. Rafael Reif will join us at 4:30 p.m.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Stratton Student Center

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., Stratton Student Center (3rd floor)

Concurrent Workshops, 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

  • Leveraging the Power of Diversity: Join us for an insightful presentation into diversity and inclusion issues. What are people’s perceptions based on? What are your own biases? We hope you will consider making a difference in the world around you as you explore and challenge overcoming bias in yourself and others. “Get It – Own It – Use It”

  • Micro Messages: You may have heard the terms “micro messaging,”  “micro aggressions,” or “micro inequities”.  What do they all mean?  What’s the impact?   In this workshop, we will explore these terms and by doing so, examine and expand our own perspective.

  • Dispelling the Myths and Fears Surrounding Disability: In this interactive session, disability-employment experts from UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits initiative will dispel myths and fears surrounding disability, and illustrate how emotional reactions to disabilities can be transferred to the work setting. Through this session, participants will come to understand the impact attitudes about people with disabilities can have on work and other relationships; gain confidence and a greater comfort level when interacting with individuals with disabilities; and realize the business imperative of including people with disabilities in the work environment. Live captioning services will be available at this session.

Concurrent Workshops, 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

  • To Work Wisely: In this workshop, we will explore the ideas and habits that make it possible for us to work wisely, grounding our daily choices in our deepest values. Together we will identify strategies for bringing ethical reflection to our work as students, staff and faculty here at MIT. (This additional session has been scheduled at this time to accommodate more participants.)

  • Intent, Impact, Words and Inclusivity: We may speak with good intent, but the impact of our words may have a different effect.  How do we move forward from hurtful comments to utilizing inclusive and compassionate language?  This presentation borrows from Dr. Maura Cullen to explore the intent vs. impact of our language and how we can build inclusive community through communication. (This additional session has been scheduled at this time to accommodate more participants.)

  • How to be a Trans* Ally: Learn more about the T in LBGT, the facts, the challenges, and the role you and others play as allies and as advocates. Join us for a discussion about Gender, Gender Fluidity, CisGender Privilege, and how to get involved and continue to support Trans* issues at MIT.

  • Do you have the power?: Are you familiar with the concepts of "power", "privilege", and "oppression"? Do you know in what areas of your life you have privilege, and what areas present oppression? This workshop provides the space for participants to critically examine their perceptions of self, explores ways we “show up” to others, and how these dynamics impact our work and our lives. Through interactive activities, and self-reflection participants will delve into their many social identities that give power to improve the world.

Break, 12:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.: Employee Resource Group Information Session, 3rd floor (Drop-in, no registration required)

Concurrent Workshops, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

  • Conversations You Can't Have on Campus: Led by a diverse group of students, this interactive workshop will offer tools to openly discuss controversial issues. Despite the increasingly diverse student population at MIT, students are often separated from each other by differences in race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. During this session, we will discuss serious issues in a non-stressful, informal setting. It is a chance for cultural exploration in a relaxed atmosphere in which people feel free to ask questions about "touchy" issues, flame about discrimination and stereotypes, and argue and intelligently discuss difficult issues. (This additional session has been scheduled at this time to accommodate more participants.)

  • Community Conversation: promoting authentic dialogue between members of different groups: Session facilitators are interested in increasing the capacity for participants to participate in and conduct authentic dialogues on issues of race, power, and privilege. In this highly interactive, reflective session participants will identify attitudes and behaviors that maintain the status quo of NOT discussing race, power and privilege in our organizations and personal lives and explore strategies to promote more authentic dialogue across differences.

  • Building Community Across the Generations: Broaden your perspective of generational differences by: exploring how the generations we grew up in impacts our values and perspective; expanding our understanding of MIT students and how they’ve changed over time; and challenging ourselves to build a community that is inclusive of diverse generations.

  • Intent, Impact, Words and Inclusivity: We may speak with good intent, but the impact of our words may have a different effect.  How do we move forward from hurtful comments to utilizing inclusive and compassionate language?  This presentation borrows from Dr. Maura Cullen to explore the intent vs. impact of our language and how we can build inclusive community through communication.

  • Speak Up: Responding to everyday bias we hear: Join us for an interactive improvisational experience that focuses on speaking up when we hear or experience bigotry.  Learn and practice strategies to address the unexpected. This is a two-part workshop from 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Participation would prohibit your attendance at other workshops on Tuesday afternoon. Attendance is limited.

Concurrent Workshops, 3:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

  • Do you have the power?: Are you familiar with the concepts of "power", "privilege", and "oppression"? Do you know in what areas of your life you have privilege, and what areas present oppression? This workshop provides the space for participants to critically examine their perceptions of self, explores ways we “show up” to others, and how these dynamics impact our work and our lives. Through interactive activities, and self-reflection participants will delve into their many social identities that give power to improve the world. (This additional session has been scheduled at this time to accommodate more participants.)

  • Conversations You Can't Have on Campus: Led by a diverse group of students, this interactive workshop will offer tools to openly discuss controversial issues. Despite the increasingly diverse student population at MIT, students are often separated from each other by differences in race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. During this session, we will discuss serious issues in a non-stressful, informal setting. It is a chance for cultural exploration in a relaxed atmosphere in which people feel free to ask questions about "touchy" issues, flame about discrimination and stereotypes, and argue and intelligently discuss difficult issues.

  • Levels of Engagement: Diversity Efforts at MIT: What are all of the many efforts focused on diversity at MIT?  Come listen to a panel of staff and students who work to advance an inclusive community.

  • To Work Wisely: In this workshop, we will explore the ideas and habits that make it possible for us to work wisely, grounding our daily choices in our deepest values. Together we will identify strategies for bringing ethical reflection to our work as students, staff and faculty here at MIT.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Kirsch Auditorium (32-123)
Registration is not required

A showing of the film Brother Outsider: The Story of Bayard RustinCome join us for an exciting and compelling film featuring  the life and work of Bayard Rustin—a visionary strategist and activist, mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., as well as  architect of the 1963 March on Washington.  Rustin dared to live as an openly gay man during the fiercely homophobic 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.


About Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch

Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch is a renowned charismatic, passionate and influential speaker who carries a powerful message of what it takes to be an effective leader in today's global marketplace. Consuelo has spoken at hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, corporations, and government institutions both in the U.S. and abroad. Since 1996, Consuelo has dedicated her life to empowering a new generation of leaders. She has worked with over one million children and their parents across the United States through Educational Achievement Services, Inc. (EAS), her human development company.

Personal Mission:

“Leadership is not about you. It is about the legacy you leave behind and the one that you are living today!"

We must prepare tomorrow’s leaders today by investing ourselves and our talents and passing the torch. By mentoring the next generation, we can help shape America’s future and help today’s youth become tomorrow’s next great leaders.”


Watch videos from the 2013 Institute Diversity Summit on TechTV