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Harvard University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
86 Brattle Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Phone
(617) 495-1000
School Information
"Harvard College is a close-knit undergraduate community within Harvard University. With world-class faculty, groundbreaking research opportunities, and a commitment to a diverse environment of bright, talented students, Harvard is more than just a place to get an education—it's where students come to be transformed." "At Harvard College, we have been shaping the future for nearly 400 years. We are committed to helping students undergo an intellectual, social, and personal transformation far beyond the traditional college experience." The college enrolls over 6,600 students and has a 7:1 student-faculty ratio. (Source: https://college.harvard.edu/about)
General Information
Harvard University's president has recently opened up the possibility of almost every space on campus being renamed, in order to promote Harvard's commitment to diversity and inclusion. Whether such a substantial series of renamings will occur is unclear. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Harvard Kennedy School will be "running orientation sessions for new students focused on understanding anti-racism and allyship." It also launched "Anti-Racism Fundamentals," a program open to all members of its community.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Harvard's Kennedy School is adding "DPI-385: Race and Racism in the Making of the United States as a Global Power" as a core requirement for all MPS students. The course description reads, "In the first half of the course, we draw from African American, Latinx, Indigenous and Asian American history, critical race theory, and whiteness studies to offer students historical knowledge about the role that race and racism have played in wealth creation, labor force participation, political culture, social institutions, immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, and civic life. We then shift to the contemporary moment, drawing from theoretical and empirical research from the social sciences to highlight the institutions of racial domination that have helped to produce durable racial hierarchies, with specific attention to the modes through which hierarchies have been created and maintained."
  • The Harvard Kennedy School will be "creating and teaching a required MPP course on race and public policy." Harvard will also be funding the development of other courses for anti-racism and DEI.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The Harvard Kennedy School will be "appointing roughly 10 faculty members between 2018 and 2021 whose work includes a focus on race and policy.
  • The Harvard Kennedy School will be "providing training and support to faculty for inclusive teaching practices in the classroom."
Program and Research Funding
  • On October 14, 2021, Harvard announced that its program, LabXchange, is "partnering with scholars from several historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to develop new digital learning resources on antiracism in education, science, and public health." Furthermore, "The new content, which will be freely available and translated into Spanish, is being funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Amgen Foundation to the LabXchange initiative."
Resources
  • The Harvard Global Health Institute hosted the seminar, "Scientific Racism and Anti-Racism: History and Recent Perspectives" which discusses the issues of "scientific racism and anti-racism and their implications to science, research, and healthcare today."
  • On October 18, 2021, Harvard announced, "Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and 2021 MacArthur Foundation fellow, and Heather McGhee, former president of the progressive think tank Demos and author of the recently published 'The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,' spoke about the challenges the movement faces during a virtual talk last Thursday evening as part of the Truth and Transformation conference at Harvard Kennedy School."
  • The Harvard Divinity School has a page dedicated to providing news about "Social and Racial Justice."
  • On November 4, 2021, the Harvard Kennedy School held "a conversation on the life and legacy of Congressman John Lewis and the future of anti-racism work in America."
  • Harvard announced in October 2021 that the Harvard Kennedy School's Diversity Committee "has played an important role in establishing a pre-orientation program to support Black students and other students of color, creating paid positions for students to work on diversity and anti-racism, launching a Culture Ambassadors program among staff members, and more" in the last year.
  • On April 14, 2021, Harvard's Graduate School of Education held "a conversation in which we explore our commitment to anti-racism - and how the events of this past year have deepened our understanding of those commitments."
  • Harvard's Graduate School of Education offers numerous resources on anti-racism.
  • The Harvard Library has a project titled, 'Confronting Anti-Black Racism.'
  • In Fall 2020, Harvard's Ed School began the Anti-Racist Teaching and Advising Initiative.
  • The Harvard Kennedy School library compiled a list of resources for "diversity, equity, and anti-racism." Also, Harvard will create a Harvard Kennedy School "research-focused webpage devoted to racism and public policy."
  • On September 21, 2021, Harvard held a symposium called, "Anti-Racism in Public Health Policies, Practice, and Research."
Symbolic Actions
  • Harvard's president has recently opened up the possibility of almost every space on campus being renamed, in order to promote Harvard's commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf stated, "In particular, we need to do more to overcome anti-Black racism and other systemic injustices, here at the Kennedy School and in the world. One of our core values at the Kennedy School is belief in the worth of each person regardless of their race and other characteristics. To hold true to that moral imperative—and for the sake of everyone at the School—we need to make our work and learning together as fair as possible. That means overcoming racism here. We also need to do teaching, research, and outreach to help reduce racism in the world, and many of the faculty members we have recruited in the past few years will strengthen our capacity in this regard."
  • Harvard has an Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging which states, "We will lead Harvard toward inclusive excellence by fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We seek to catalyze, convene, and build capacity for equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism initiatives across the University."
  • In October 2021, Harvard announced that the Harvard Kennedy School's Diversity Committee will find "a chair who will be the Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging."
  • In October 2021, Harvard announced that the Harvard Kennedy School's Diversity Committee will create “a steering group comprising the chair; another representative from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging; the Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs and Student Affairs; the Academic Dean for Teaching and Curriculum; a senior representative from the Office of Human Resources; and the Kennedy School Student Government’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism.”
  • In October 2021, Harvard announced that the Harvard Kennedy School's Diversity Committee will bring in three additional student, staff, and faculty representatives each.
  • On November 20, 2020, the author of "How to Be an Anti-Racist," Ibram X. Kendi, spoke at an event co-sponsored by Harvard College Everywhere and Radcliffe discussing anti-racism.
  • In 2020, the Harvard Medical School's Program in Medical Education created a Task Force to Address Racism which has a goal to "take a comprehensive approach to addressing a history of white supremacist culture at the School."
  • On May 21, 2021, Harvard highlighted outreach programs for children focusing on racism.
  • Ibram X. Kendi, author of "How to Be an Anti-Racist," is a "2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, where he will continue work on his next historical monograph, 'Bones of Inequity: A Narrative History of Racist Policies in America.'"
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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