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Department Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

OUR MISSION

In academic year 2019-2020, MCB formed a Community Task Force (CTF) on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) to help the department fully realize its mission of achieving inclusive excellence. Comprised of students, staff, postdocs, administrators and faculty, the CTF employs existing quantitative and qualitative research to critically analyze our departmental culture, current practices, policies, systems and structures, and develop evidence-based recommendations and measurable goals for best practices, programs, and initiatives. In addition, we serve as a resource for community engagement, and as a sounding board for ideas and feedback.

UPCOMING EVENT

EDUCATION

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Our role is to educate ourselves and our community on best practices for fostering an inclusive department that is welcoming to people of all identities and to provide resources for anyone wanting to learn more.

EVIDENCE-BASED RECOMMENDATIONS

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Our guiding principle is to base our implementations and recommendations on existing research carried out by experts in social science fields.

GUIDING ACTION

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We encourage and facilitate community initiatives that will advance Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in the MCB Department.

TRANSPARENT COMMUNICATION

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We serve as an open pipeline of communication between the MCB community and decision-making bodies at the departmental, divisional, and University levels.

ACCOUNTABILITY

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We will continually update the MCB community on our progress and solicit and incorporate feedback from the department to make this community process transparent and accountable.  

OUR MECHANISMS OF ACTION

The MCB Community Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging advises the Department Chair and Executive Director (ED). The CTF may propose and evaluate specific actions or propose that a group be authorized-to-act within a defined domain by the Chair and ED; authorization-to-act may be granted to the CTF as a whole or to a smaller working group, and may include additional stakeholders outside the CTF.

One (or more) CTF members will be nominated by the CTF and confirmed by the Chair and ED to sit on the other five MCB departmental committees (Seminars, Courses and Curriculum, MCO, Retreat planning, Website/public relations) for the term of one year; they will be full members of those committees, and will be an essential conduit of information between the two bodies, enhancing transparency.

OUR AREAS OF FOCUS*

Community Composition – recruit and retain individuals who increase diversity in our community 

Learning and Development seminars, workshops, and curriculum responsive to DIB aims

Culture and Climate processes and tools for bias reporting, promising practices, supportive symbols, and spaces

Transparency and Accountability mechanisms to hold ourselves accountable and track our progress  

*as defined by the FAS Science Division strategic framework

HISTORY OF DIB INITIATIVES (PDF) (as of 6.28.21)

GET INVOLVED

  • To get involved in current working group initiatives, you can reach out to anyone on the CTF or send an email to  MCB_Diversity@fas.harvard.edu
  • Any MCB community member with a proposal or future initiative they would like to present to the CTF may request time on the agenda at a (monthly) CTF meeting by emailing MCB_Diversity@fas.harvard.edu
  • Interested parties should nominate themselves and/or others for membership on the Community Task Force by e-mailing the out-going CTF at MCB_Diversity@fas.harvard.edu by May 1st of each year

Goals for CTF membership: The Community Task Force should represent all stake holders from the MCB community (undergraduate, grad students, post docs, research staff, administrative staff, faculty) as well as diversity in personal identities (ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability etc.). To balance institutional knowledge and provide continuity, ~50% of the members should overlap from year to year. Addition of new members will be discussed within the CTF to ensure adequate representation from all groups.

Each May (between finals and commencement) we will hold an MCB Community Task Force Spring Open House event, in order to: outline how the CTF is governed, share what we are working on (initiatives still in progress) and our upcoming goals, and provide a space for prospective members to ask questions. Attendance at our May meeting/open house is encouraged for prospective task force members looking to assess if they are interested in nominating themselves for a full seat on the CTF, similar to attending a class during “shopping week”. The next year’s membership will be decided at the June CTF meeting. The incoming and outgoing CTFs will hold joint meetings in July to transition/hand-off any current projects.

 

RESOURCES

To submit additions to the lists above, please email MCB_Diversity@fas.harvard.edu.

To submit anonymous feedback, please click here.