Belonging

Please note: This plan is in draft form. Please provide your input through the "SUBMIT YOUR FEEDBACK" button.

MIT can best achieve its goals by creating a community in which all people feel they are connected to each other, can do their best work, and can thrive as members of a community with a sense of shared purpose and agency. By cultivating empathy, civil discourse, inclusion, and engagement, we can amplify our historic strengths as a problem-solving institution and turn them towards society's collective well-being.

Commitment 3: Critically engage with and empower the MIT community on the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

Programs/Initiatives

  • Develop and broadly disseminate an MIT values statement. (In progress)
  • Develop and execute a communications strategy that supports the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion and reaches all MIT stakeholders, internal and external. (In progress)
  • Develop and maintain a repository of diversity, equity, and inclusion resources designed to amplify the role of engagement, empathy, social analysis, civil discourse, mentoring, advising, and inclusion as institutional values. (In progress)
  • Develop coordinated and consistent staff, faculty, postdoc, and student onboarding and orientation processes that reinforce MIT’s commitment to being and becoming a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. (In progress)
  • Develop criteria for recognizing and acknowledging contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion at MIT as part of annual performance evaluations, merit-based awards, and advancement decisions for all staff and faculty. (See Commitment 6)
  • Reward and acknowledge students who participate in specific project-based roles related to advancing Institute goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion; for example, through awards and using the Graduate Community Fellows program as a model. 
  • Increase support for and coordination of community-led programs and events that encourage the examination of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Catalyze innovative new programs that seek to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts into programs of study and campus life. (In progress)

 

Commitment 4: Reinforce positive interactions among members of the MIT community to foster and promote an enduring sense of belonging.

 

Programs/Initiatives

  • Develop and implement an Institute-wide mentoring program that will design, deliver, and evaluate mentor and mentee training using theoretically-grounded, evidence-based, and culturally-responsive training interventions for faculty, staff, postdocs, and students. 
  • Create a Wellbeing Lab to emphasize and coordinate health-promotion efforts across campus; strengthen DAPER’s formal academic wellness offerings; and develop campus-wide messaging about self-care, self-compassion, respect, relationships, and resiliency. (In progress)
  • Work with student and administrative leaders to identify and create opportunities and mechanisms for cultural student groups to convene, such as shared spaces and events, including signature annual events. 
  • Meet students’ urgent financial needs, including addressing food insecurity. (In progress)
  • Implement recommendations from the external review of public safety operations to increase the sense of wellbeing and safety among all members of the MIT community. (In progress)
  • Implement NASEM working group recommendations, including those that address the negative effects of power dynamics and the unsupportive behaviors that can result from power imbalances. (In progress)
  • Engage leadership to hold faculty and supervisors accountable for creating and sustaining environments that encourage collegiality, respect, and value for all staff, students, postdocs, and faculty.
  • Expand visibility of and create opportunities for employee engagement, such as Employee Resource Groups.
  • Support faculty and supervisors through a coordinated training program that emphasizes how to build trusting relationships, manage across differences, employ coaching strategies, facilitate difficult conversations, and provide effective feedback.
  • Increase the accessibility of our information and communications technology, including implementing the recommendations of the Digital Accessibility Working Group.

 

Commitment 5: Support academic research, scholarship, and collaborations regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and related topics at MIT.

 

Programs/Initiatives

  • As noted in President Reif’s letter to the community in July 2020: “make a combination of immediate investments in antiracist research at MIT, totaling $1 million, and seek additional sources. The goal is to seed new research, amplify existing research, create links between related efforts across MIT and establish connections with research at other institutions.”

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