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Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at HKS

“One of our core values at the School is belief in the worth of each person regardless of their race and other characteristics. We must hold true to that value in everything we do—as we work with and learn from each other, and as we apply our skills and knowledge to make a more just society.”

Dean Douglas Elmendorf

Read the latest message about Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging from Dean Elmendorf 

Harvard Kennedy School’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODIB)

Robbin ChapmanODIB works to advance the School as a place where every member of our community will thrive. Cultivating and supporting an anti-racist community is integral to achieving this goal. The office regularly collaborates with HKS departments and centers on projects geared towards creating an anti-racist culture, such as Community Conversations and the Orientation for Students of Color.

The department is led by Dr. Robbin Chapman, Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.




Making an IMPACT on diversity, equity and inclusion

Harvard Kennedy School is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion on our campus.  Making an IMPACT on diversity, equity and inclusion is both our goal and a mnemonic to describe our approach. 

Race, Research and Policy Portal (RRAPP)

The Race, Research and Policy Portal is a free online resource dedicated to summarizing and promoting research publications on diversity, racial equity, and antiracist organizational change in private, public, and non-profit firms and entities. Many of the resources highlight academic studies, which are often hidden behind paywals and are subsequently underutilized. RRAPP helps changemakers learn and find the tools they need.

The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management 

The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management is part of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Since 1980 it has conducted research to promote sound policy and effective management in the administration of safety and justice.

The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice 

The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership advances the social justice and civil rights legacy of William Monroe Trotter through research on social justice, community engagement, and engagement with government and other organizations.

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Racial justice, racial equity, and anti-racism reading list 

The HKS Library has created a reading list that is inspired and largely informed by the Institutional Anti-Racism and Accountability Project at the Shorenstein Center in partnership with the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

A reading list on issues of race

In its reading list on books about race and racism, the Harvard Gazette describes as "indispensable" this book by Kennedy School Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad: “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America.”

Institutional Anti-racism and Accountability Project (IARA) 

The Institutional Anti-racism and Accountability Project is an initiative at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center that uses research and policy to promote anti-racism as a core value and institutional norm.

Black America and COVID-19

This collection documents the experience of COVID-19 on Black communities in America. Its intention is to create a collective conversation of material for teaching and learning about the contemporary effects of COVID-19 on the Black community as it is tied to the historical legacy of race in America.

Recent faculty research on social justice issues 

Explore Harvard Kennedy School publications on aspects of justice, race, civil advocacy, equality, and related issues. This list captures recent books, working papers, journal articles, and other relevant research.

Harvard Journal of African American Policy 

The Harvard Journal of African American Policy is the second-oldest, student-run review published annually by the Harvard Kennedy School. Its mission is to educate and empower in order to improve the quality of public policies affecting the African American community specifically and the African diaspora at large.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging collection

This collection of books, films, and other resources is intended to foster community discussion and understanding around race, gender, cultural difference, systems of oppression and other topics pertaining to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Resources for Parents on Racial Justice

This resource list is geared towards parents looking to foster an anti-racist home environment.

Managing and Facilitating Discussions about Race

This tip sheet can help guide respectful, open, and productive conversations about race.

Juneteenth Educational Resources

This compilation of  resources provides information about the holiday and its significance to the Black community in the United States.

Student-Led Initiatives

Explore relevant student publications, groups, and conferences at HKS.

News & Events

  • June 19 commemorates the ending of slavery in the U.S. [Cornell William Brooks] CTV
  • Is it time for Slavery reparations? [Cornell William Brooks] WNYC
  • The significance of Juneteenth, America’s first new federal holiday in decades [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] PBS NewsHour
  • George Floyd's legacy: Friends, family and activists reflect on his impact a year after death [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] ABC News
  • “Progress for People of Color doesn’t come at white folks expense” [Archon Fung] Boston Review
  • Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad: Policing in U.S. was built on racism & should be put on trial [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] Democracy Now!
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  • Ensuring the Floyd trial becomes a turning point[Cornell William Brooks] Harvard Gazette
  • Former NAACP president: Police contracts are seemingly bulletproof [Cornell William Brooks] CNN
  • Search engine breakdown [Latanya Sweeney] WGBH
  • The lessons of Beulah Mae Donald, the mother who took down the Klan [Cornell William Brooks] CNN
  • Intelligence Squared debate: Is it time for slavery reparations? [Cornell William Brooks] MPR News
  • Solving racial disparities in policing [Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Sandra Susan Smith] Harvard Gazette
  • An overhaul for justice [Ana Billingsley] Harvard Gazette
  • The Black-white life expectancy gap grew in 2020 – but it can be reversed [Marcella Alsan] Vox
  • A key to ending racism: Make it personal [Robert Livingston] Harvard Gazette
  • In Netflix’s stirring “Amend”, stars anguish over the injustices that led to the 14th Amendment [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] Salon
  • On racial justice and reparations: A Q&A with prof. Khalil Gibran Muhammad [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] New Jersey.com
  • Getting Black voters to take the wheel [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] Harvard Gazette
  • 'White supremacy won today': critics condemn Trump acquittal as racist vote [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] The Guardian
  • Organizing, but not compartmentalizing: LaTosha Brown puts her whole being into increasing voter turnout [LaTosha Brown] Harvard Gazette
  • What is Black History Month, and why is it important? [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] ABC7 Los Angeles
  • There have always been two Americas. The Capitol Hill riot proved it [Cornell William Brooks] CNN
  • Google removes 'Parler' from Play Store [Cornell William Brooks] CTV News
  • Historic Black Churches Attacked During Pro-Trump Rally In Washington, DC [Cornell William Brooks] WBUR 
  • Why did racial progress stall in America? [Robert Putnam] New York Times
  • Center for Policing Equity co-founder discusses reimagining community safety at Kennedy School event [Sandra Susan Smith] Harvard Crimson
  • ‘Black voters will certainly be holding this administration accountable’ [Tiffany Cross] MSNBC
  • During crises, diversity and inclusion should lead the way [Iris Bohnet] Devex
  • Trump’s message to Black voters [Leah Wright Rigueur] The Washington Post
  • ​In this Pennsylvania town, racism ‘was quiet’. Then Trump stoked fears of violence [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] New Jersey Herald
  • Race and the Electoral College [Alex Keyssar] C-SPAN
  • Reimagining the James Baldwin and William F. Buckley debate [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] NPR
  • The history of Black voter suppression — and the fight for the right to vote [LaTosha Brown] NBC News
  • Cultural organizations across the nation host documentary and discussion about John Lewis [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] Washington Post
  • Harvard Law School, Kennedy School professors talk racial inequalities during COVID-19 [Sandra Susan Smith] Harvard Crimson
  • Cultural organizations across the nation host documentary and discussion about John Lewis [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] Washington Post
  • The history of Black voter suppression — and the fight for the right to vote [LaTosha Brown] NBC News
  • The crisis of mistrust and COVID-19: Race and re-imagining tracing and vaccination [Marcella Alsan, Cornell William Brooks] USA Today
  • Black Republicans, Donald Trump, and America’s “George Floyd moment” [Leah Wright Rigueur] Vox
  • The Massachusetts Bail Fund is on the right side of the law — and justice [Sandra Susan Smith] Boston Globe
  • Harvard researchers share concerns about food insecurity in Mass. [Jeffrey Liebman] WBUR
  • Racist police practices like mug shots normalize the criminalization of Black Americans [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] NBC News
  • How the coronavirus pandemic helped the Floyd protests become the biggest in U.S. history [Erica Chenoweth] Washington Post
  • A COVID‐19 crisis in U.S. jails and prisons [Marcella Alsan] ACS Journals
  • Cornell Brooks on Rep. John Lewis and George Floyd [Cornell William Brooks] CTV
  • 'Police reform failed for hundreds of years' [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] CNN
  • Boston police are not Minneapolis police [Christopher Winship] Boston Globe
  • Black Lives Matter beyond America’s big cities [Erica Chenoweth] Washington Post
  • Why police reform doesn't work in the U.S. [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] Buzzfeed
  • Why words aren’t enough from companies claiming to support Black Lives Matter [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] Boston Globe
  • Lockdown-focused Facebook groups pivot to attacks on Black Lives Matter [Joan Donovan] CNBC
  • Trump’s push to amplify racism unnerves Republicans who have long enabled him [Leah Wright Rigueur] Washington Post
  • Kennedy School study links police violence to diminished educational outcomes and student trauma [Desmond Ang] Harvard Crimson
Explore upcoming events on understanding and addressing racism.


Alumni Confronting Racism and Bias

An artistic rendering of George Floyd

Karim Farishta MPP 2020 established a virtual museum called #ArtForJustice to commemorate George Floyd, the Black man killed in Minneapolis by the police. Farishta lives in the Houston area where Floyd grew up.

Man speaking into a microphone

The HKS Washington, DC Alumni Council recently held an alumni event titled, “Police Brutality, Racism, and the Need for Action.” The network also posted a statement on its website, saying, “As alumni of HKS, we must all think carefully about our role in ending the all too common acts of racial injustice.” 

headshot of man speaking

Alister Martin MD 2014 MPP 2015 is an emergency room physician at Massachusetts General Hospital who works at the intersection of medicine and public policy. He is concerned about the effect of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable populations, and exposing the inequalities in healthcare, telling the Boston Globe in April that "this disease is just crushing communities of color.” 


Courses Related to Racism and Bias

An additional list of courses offered for the 2020-21 academic year in which race and bias are important elements.

Faculty Experts

Marcella Alsan Photo

Marcella Alsan

Professor of Public Policy
Desmond Ang Photo

Desmond Ang

Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Sara Bleich Photo

Sara Bleich

Professor of Public Health Policy, HSPH; Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor, Radcliffe

Cornell William Brooks Photo

Cornell William Brooks

Hauser Professor of the Practice of Nonprofit Organizations; Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice
Michela Carlana Photo

Michela Carlana

Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Amitabh Chandra Photo

Amitabh Chandra

Ethel Zimmerman Wiener Professor of Public Policy, HKS; Henry and Allison McCance Professor of Business Administration, HBS
Dara Kay Cohen Photo

Dara Kay Cohen

Ford Foundation Associate Professor of Public Policy
Will Dobbie Photo

Will Dobbie

Professor of Public Policy
Ronald Ferguson Photo

Ronald Ferguson

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Yanilda Gonzalez Photo

Yanilda Gonzalez

Assistant Professor of Public Policy

Gordon Hanson Photo

Gordon Hanson

Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy

Eric Henson Photo

Eric Henson

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Joseph Kalt Photo

Joseph Kalt

Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Emeritus
Alex Keyssar Photo

Alex Keyssar

Matthew W. Stirling, Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy
Robert Livingston Photo

Robert Livingston

Lecturer in Public Policy
Zoe Marks Photo

Zoe Marks

Lecturer in Public Policy
Tarek Masoud Photo

Tarek Masoud

Professor of Public Policy and Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman Professor of International Relations
Timothy Patrick McCarthy Photo

Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Khalil Muhammad Photo

Khalil Muhammad

Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, HKS; Suzanne Young Murray Professor, Radcliffe
Pippa Norris Photo

Pippa Norris

Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics
Daniel Schneider Photo

Daniel Schneider

Professor of Public Policy

Maya Sen Photo

Maya Sen

Professor of Public Policy

Sandra Susan Smith Photo

Sandra Susan Smith

Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice

Latanya Sweeney Photo

Latanya Sweeney

Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Technology, HKS and FAS

Robert Wilkinson Photo

Robert Wilkinson

Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership

David Williams

Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health, HSPH; Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology, FAS

William Julius Wilson Photo

William Julius Wilson

Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Emeritus

Related Policy Topics


From racial equity, to the climate, to education, and beyond, how can we build societies that are more fair and just? How do we improve access and opportunity for all? 


How do gender, race, class, and other aspects of identity affect the policymaking process? Can public policy help create equitable and harassment-free workplaces?  


Can social movements help more people participate in shaping public policy and affecting societal values? 

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