The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging works in partnership with various GSD and Harvard University offices, as well as experts in the field to provide programs that foster a design community that can hold multiple identities and conflicting perspectives in an engaging and respectful way.
Community Conversation is an initiative for the GSD to informally engage with each other around topics that advance discussions about perspective, difference, and commonality. This initiative is ongoing and will highlight one aspect of the intersecting quality of diversity, inclusion, and belonging at a time.
First Generation Experiences Panel & Discussion
This virtual conversation unpacked the dynamics of being a first-generation student/professional navigating the “hidden curriculum” – unwritten and unofficial social, cultural, and economic values and expectations – embedded in Harvard and the field of design. The event featured a panel discussion illuminating the intersectional identities in the first-generation experience.
2020 Climate Survey
In the spring of 2020, the Office of DIB launched a Climate Survey to capture our community’s viewpoints and experiences related to DIB. The purpose of the survey was to serve as a baseline to measure improvement and be a catalyst for community conversation.
This conversation was hosted by, Dean Sarah Whiting and Chief DIB Officer, Naisha Bradley, to discuss key findings from the 2020 Climate Survey, our areas of growth, and future actions as a community.
Fireside Chat with Dr. Robert Livingston
Following the release of his book, The Conversation: How Speaking the Truth about Racism can Transform Individuals and Organizations, Robert Livingston spoke to the GSD community about how to eradicate racism using his PRESS model. The GSD offered a copy of the book to all community members prior to the fireside chat and encouraged participants to engage with Livingston about his model (Problem Awareness, Root Cause Analysis, Empathy, Strategy, Sacrifice) and how following it could address the societal ills caused by racism.
GSD Town Halls are dynamic public spaces for discussion and reflection. Prioritizing emotional and mental wellbeing, GSD Town Halls promote collaborative relationships among faculty, staff, students, and researchers around current issues of policy and social inequity impacting our community at the domestic and international levels.
In advance of the 2020 presidential election, the Office of DIB hosted a town hall to create a space for community members to share their thoughts and concerns around the political landscape of the United States and the impact a shift in the leadership could have on the country and world.
In the wake of several attacks against Asian Americans, the Office of DIB hosted a town hall focused on addressing Anti-Asian Racism by reaffirming our community values as an act of solidarity and providing an opportunity for the GSD community to connect, listen, process, and better understand each other.
Other DIB Programs
Creating Outside Your ExperienceThis conversation explored the interplay between the role of fiction, the need for representation, and the ethics of designing spaces outside of your experience. This was constructed around the following readings: Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction by Zadie Smith, Who Gave You the Right to Tell That Story by Lila Shapiro, and The Bearable Whiteness of 'Little Women' by Kaitlyn Greenidge.
The 1619 ProjectIn honor of Black History Month, the Office facilitated a conversation on the loss and dispossession of Black land ownership in America to unpack how power, privilege, and positionality impact the ethics of design. This informal conversation was centered around "The 1619 Project" episode 5, parts 1 and 2: The Land of Our Fathers.