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Department Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging


In academic year 2019-2020, MCB formed a Community Task Force (CTF) on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) 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.




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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.


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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.


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


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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.


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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.  


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.


Diversify the MCB Community across all stakeholder groups by improving recruitment and retention practices

Improve Community Engagement across stakeholder and affinity groups, with each other, as well as with DIB best practices

Strengthen Avenues of Support and Promote Psychological Safety for all community members, and actively work to break down hierarchical power dynamics

Increase Departmental Transparency and actively work to de-mystify the “hidden curriculum”

*As identified in response to climate surveys, community feedback, and CTF discussions in AY2020-21. In AY2021-22, the CTF is working to finalize a 3-5 year strategic plan outlining goals, strategies, and deliverables in each priority area.



  • 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.



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

To submit anonymous feedback, please click here.