Diversity, inclusion, and belonging have the ability to enrich the classroom and community experience by creating a space for multiple perspectives to be surfaced and challenged for optimal learning. We believe that these values should be imbedded in the fabric of the School’s community.
The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Toward that end, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging was established in spring 2019 to serve as a place of consultation, strategic partnership, and accountability to ensure that all in our community have equitable access to its resources and can share in its benefits. We seek to be an example of a design community that can hold multiple identities and conflicting perspectives in an engaging and respectful way; one that is thoughtful of diversity and helps people understand how respect and acknowledgement of others allows us to be better design practitioners.
The mission of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging is to cultivate and sustain an environment at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) that increases diversity, deepens inclusion, and advances a sense of belonging among students, faculty, staff and our extended community. The GSD believes in equipping students with the skills to design spaces for all people to navigate. To accomplish this, we prioritize the innovation and reflection that comes from recognizing diverse perspectives and experiences, and creating space for them in our community. Our diversity, inclusion, and belonging focus areas include recruitment and retention, community engagement, representation, and assessment.
Recruitment and Retention: We work in partnership with other GSD offices to ensure diverse recruitment of faculty, staff, and students and advocate for retention practices that foster inclusion.
Community Engagement: We collaborate and support student groups who organize identity-based programming that seeks to advance conversations about difference and diversify the landscape of the School and the design field.
Representation: We strive to ensure that our community is an accurate reflection of the diversity in our world, and we accomplish this in three ways:
- We review and develop GSD policies to ensure recognition of a diverse and inclusive community while providing accountability to the GSD community values.
- We seek to encourage a consistent review of curriculum to maintain an academic voice that highlights the diversity of the field and that can be far-reaching to our current and prospective students.
- We encourage and help create avenues for diversity in community programs, conferences, and symposia.
Assessment: We seek to advance our work and mark our movement using data driven and evidence based approaches to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Naisha Bradley, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
Esther Weathers, Assistant Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Programming