Inviting you to inaugural “Dialogues Across Difference” with John Tomasi

March 13, 2023
Sally Kornbluth, President | Cynthia Barnhart, Provost | Melissa Nobles, Chancellor |

Dear members of the MIT community,

With enthusiasm, we invite you to join us for the first in a new series of guest lectures and campus conversations called “Dialogues Across Difference: Building Community at MIT.”

In the spirit of our recent commitment to create a range of opportunities for all of us to “learn about, practice and model the skills to confidently, constructively, respectfully express ourselves – and listen to each other – across differences,” this and future sessions will demonstrate practical ways to take on difficult subjects across differences of opinion, background, viewpoint, and life experience.

This first event will consist of an opening talk, a fireside chat, and Q&A.

Dialogues Across Difference: Building Community at MIT
Wednesday, March 22
3:00 to 4:30 p.m. EDT
Bartos Theater, E15-070
In person, registration not required

  • Featured speaker: John Tomasi, inaugural president of Heterodox Academy
  • Talk title: "Humility, Community, and the Search for Truth at MIT"
  • Conversation with Institute Community and Equity Officer John Dozier
  • Audience Q&A

The event will feature ASL interpretation and StreamText captioning. Please let us know if you need anything else to participate fully by emailing

Next fall

"Dialogues Across Difference" will continue next semester with an event featuring MIT Professor Malick Ghachem, a constitutional historian and member of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Free Expression. Event details will be publicized closer to the time.

In a moment when our campus and our society are confronting many profound, complex, and hotly contested questions, "Dialogues Across Difference" will be designed to foster civil discourse, critical thinking, and empathy – vital skills for all of us in the abiding work of building and rebuilding our community, together.

We look forward to seeing many of you on March 22.


Sally Kornbluth, President

Cynthia Barnhart, Provost

Melissa Nobles, Chancellor