Strategic Action Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

September 24, 2020

To the members of the MIT community,

This summer, President Reif charged us with leading the community to develop and implement “a comprehensive, Institute-wide action plan for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – a plan that will be central to MIT’s overall goals and strategy.”

We write now to share our vision for the plan, to explain how it will take shape this semester – and especially to introduce the members of the steering team and launch an important community tool, the new DEI@MIT website.

Over the past decade, the efforts of hundreds of students, staff, postdocs, and faculty have produced a number of powerful reports on community and equity issues at MIT. Together, those reports offered more than 170 recommendations for strengthening our community, and they have driven important gains. But it’s clear that in a number of areas, progress has been slow, uneven, or insufficient.

The DEI@MIT strategic action plan will address this problem directly. Drawing on the best wisdom, findings, and recommendations of these past efforts, it will enable us to do what no report could on its own:

  • Organize, prioritize, build broad support for, and coordinate Institute-wide action on a unified set of specific DEI objectives, and
  • Create mechanisms to ensure sustained focus, discipline, and accountability for results.
     

As a starting point, we have defined four strategic priorities, framed in terms of composition, achievement, engagement, and inclusion. To help us develop the plan in detail, we recruited a steering committee, comprising the Committee on Race and Diversity and additional student, staff, and faculty leaders from across the Institute.

This semester, as we work with this team to shape the strategic action plan, we will also tap the latest wisdom of our entire community in a range of ways, including:

  • By meeting twice with each of 25–30 committees, groups, and organizations that together represent the full range of our campus community.
  • By holding two all-community online town halls, to be scheduled later this term.
  • By actively engaging the community through the new DEI@MIT website. We see the website as a hub for collecting ideas, sharing feedback, monitoring progress, and ensuring accountability. We hope you will visit the website now and often, submit your answers to questions we pose there, and sign up to receive regular updates.
     

The DEI@MIT Strategic Action Plan is not a panacea. But as we seek to accelerate progress on specific priorities, it will provide both a clear baseline for measuring and assessing progress and a crucial lever for accountability.

A coordinated, strategic, well-resourced, highly visible action plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion is what MIT urgently needs to ensure that our culture reflects our values and that those values empower us to work together – wisely, creatively, effectively, and inclusively – for the betterment of humankind.

We look forward to your participation in this important challenge and opportunity.

Sincerely,

John Dozier
Institute Community and Equity Officer

Tim Jamison
Associate Provost


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan Steering Committee

Cynthia Barnhart, chancellor

Ike Brochu, assistant director, Disability and Access Services

Beatriz Cantada, program director, Institute Community and Equity Office

La-Tarri Canty, associate dean, Office of Intercultural Engagement

Yu Jing Chen, undergraduate student, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Nat Clarke, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biology

Chevalier P. Cleaves, director’s staff for strategic initiatives, Lincoln Laboratory

Orisa Coombs, undergraduate student, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Nina DeAgrela, assistant dean, Office of Intercultural Engagement

Shirley A. Entzminger, senior co-convener, Working Group for Support Staff

John Fernández, professor, Department of Architecture

Suzanne Glassburn, vice president and secretary of the Corporation

Asegun S. Henry, professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Alyce Johnson, senior advisor to the vice president, Human Resources Department

Virginia Johnson, co-lead, African, Black, American, Caribbean Employee Resource Group

DiOnetta Jones Crayton, associate dean and director, Office of Minority Education

Eesha Khare, graduate student, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Markus Klute, professor, Department of Physics

Bianca Lepe, graduate student, Department of Biological Engineering

Lauryn A. McNair, assistant director, LBGTQ+ Services

Kathleen Monagle, associate dean, Student Support & Wellbeing

Ufuoma Ovienmhada, graduate student, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Ray Reagans, professor, Sloan School of Management

David Singer, professor, Department of Political Science

Lily L. Tsai, professor, Department of Political Science

Noelle Wakefield, assistant director, Office of Graduate Education

Catherine Wong, graduate student, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences