Harvard walks its talk on diversity, inclusion

November 18, 2021

Widener Library with students.14 proposals win diversity, inclusion grants from Harvard President’s Office

Fourteen campus proposals have been selected to receive Harvard Culture Lab Innovation Fund (HCLIF) grants.

“I’m inspired by the dozens of creative grant proposals that we received and I’m excited to see how this year’s round of grant awardees will bring their inclusion ideas to life,” said Sherri Charleston, chief diversity and inclusion officer. Charleston heads the University’s Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, which administers the grants.

Read the full story in the Harvard Gazette

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Closing the gender gap in nuclear security

November 3, 2021

Panelists explore the progress and pitfalls involving gender diversity in the area of policy

Panel of experts.They’ve had similar experiences: entering a conference room filled almost entirely with men; being the only woman to take part in a panel discussion; getting judged more for their appearance than their expertise.

Jenny Town recalled being told by a viewer who had seen an interview with her on Al Jazeera that he didn’t like “the way her mouth formed words.”

“This isn’t the kind of feedback that men get,” said Town, an expert in North Korea and senior fellow at the Stimson Center, during a Zoom panel last week. The online discussion, “Pipelines and Ceilings: The Gender Gap in Nuclear Policy,” was sponsored by the Belfer Center’s Managing the Atom program at the Harvard Kennedy School. The event was part of a series of MTA panels exploring diversity and inclusion in national security and nuclear policy.

Read the full Harvard Gazette story

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Fresh strides in equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging

October 21, 2021

Harvard Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sherri Ann CharlestonSherri Charleston reflects on her 1st year, outlines new five-year strategic model

This week, the Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging released its first Community Update under the leadership of chief diversity and inclusion officer Sherri Charleston, who began her work in the role in August of 2020.

The Gazette spoke with Charleston to hear her reflections on her first year-plus on the job.

Read the October 20, 2021, Q&A with Nate Herpich in the Harvard Gazette

Changing Names and Narratives

October 15, 2021
Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

Sherri CharlestonLast week, President Biden issued a formal proclamation declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, following a broader movement in more than 100 cities and a dozen states across the country led by Native and Indigenous Activists. Since time immemorial, Native and Indigenous peoples have occupied, cultivated, and safeguarded what is now the United States. It is important that we remember that Harvard University is itself located on the traditional and ancestral land of Native and Indigenous peoples. I encourage everyone to engage with the Harvard University Native American Program to learn more.... Read more about Changing Names and Narratives

LGBT History Month

October 14, 2021

October is National LGBT History Month. Let’s shine a light on some people who brought awareness to it.

Photo of Rodney Wilson“The greatest act of advocacy for civil rights for LGBT Americans is the act of coming out,” wrote Rodney Wilson who established Gay History Month in 1994. “LGBT history gave me self-confidence as a gay person and strengthened my resolve to live, as best I could, an honest, open and integrated life.”  

In 1994, while teaching history at Mehlville High School in suburban St. Louis, Wilson came out to his class during a lesson about the Holocaust. He told his class if he had lived in Germany during World War II, he probably would have been imprisoned and killed by the Nazis for being gay. He became the first openly gay K-12 teacher in Missouri. What started with a lesson evolved into a broader mission to teach young people about gay history. Inspired by Women’s History Month and Black History Month, he worked with national organizations to develop a gay-friendly curriculum for educators. Today Wilson holds a master's degree from the Harvard Extension School as well as the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Read more about the People Behind the Movement from the Countway Library. 
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Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Fall Forum at Harvard School of Public Health

September 24, 2021

Join leaders of Harvard Chan School of Public Health for the 2021-22 Fall Forum outlining their Office for Diversity's plan and priorities for the year ahead and share resources avalable to all members of the Harvard Chan community. 

Wednesday, October 6 at 1 p.m. ET via Zoom


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Stepping Into a New Normal

September 15, 2021

Dear Members of the Harvard Community:

Sherri CharlestonIn her poem “Late October,” author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou writes, “…we begin to stop, in order to begin again.” Autumn, with the busy beginnings of school and the wistful end of summer, calls us to take pause.
For me, this September in particular is a time for reflection and for reverence. One year ago, I began work at Harvard amid a pandemic and presidential election. Over the months, I have met many members of our community, made new friendships, and worked together—with all of you—to build a more equitable campus environment. Even with all we must be grateful for, many of us have also experienced loss. We may mourn the loss of friends or loved ones, or loss of our old routines and ways of interacting with the world. I mourn the loss of all of the above.

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