Our work targets five action areas

By focusing on our culture and training, community building, teaching, research, and outreach, HKS is making strategic and fundamental changes to support diversity, equity, and anti-racism. Below are some of the actions that we as a community—faculty, staff, students and alumni—have already taken and are continuing to take.

HKS is creating a more diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist culture by strategically creating new offices, roles and programs and by providing new training and resources for faculty, staff, and students. 

  • Creating the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODIB), led by an associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Among other activities ODIB sponsors community pop-ups, coffee breaks, open houses, and events.
  • Hiring diversity, inclusion, and belonging associates—paid research positions for students to help HKS implement inclusive and anti-racist strategies.
  • Creating the Culture Ambassadors Network, in which staff volunteers help to foster a culture where all employees feel they belong by facilitating learning and communication within work teams about diversity, equity, and anti-racism  (the network won a Harvard CLIF award to expand its work to share resources throughout the University). The Culture Ambassador Program recently created a zine featuring work by program members.
  • Convening the HKS Diversity Committee (DivCo) of staff, student, and faculty members. DivCo hosts an annual Humans of HKS Storytelling Slam, where community members share personal stories related to identity.
  • Curating an HKS library collection of resources on diversity, equity, and anti-racism as well as an exhibition that portrays explorations on race and belonging at HKS
  • Recognizing and celebrating heritage and history months  
  • Producing a monthly ODIB newsletter for the HKS community  
  • Providing  new resources on Title IX  and sexual harassment, including bystander training, and supporting Title IX's enforcement
  • New anti-harassment and anti-hazing guidelines and related resources 
  • Running orientation sessions for new students focused on understanding anti-racism, allyship, gender identity, and pronouns
  • Connecting new hires with diversity, inclusion, and belonging-related resources, events, and opportunities at the Kennedy School and Harvard University during their orientation period
  • Creating HKS Anti-Racism Fundamentals, an online learning experience open to all members of our community to learn about anti-racism and how to take action to create a more inclusive HKS 
  • Holding community learning events related to disability awareness and etiquette
  • Improving accessibility, including opening an additional lactation room and a designated space for religious observance, meditation practice, and reflection 
  • Programming related to the Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery initiative, including film screenings, tours, and community discussions

HKS is revamping the ways it recruits and supports faculty, staff, and students to build and sustain a more diverse and equitable community.

  • Instituting new faculty recruitment processes, including more cluster hiring, to broaden candidate pools  
  • Appointing new faculty members whose work includes a focus on race and policy 
  • Adopting an updated staff recruitment approach that emphasizes a broader and more inclusive hiring process in order to build a more diverse candidate pool 
  • Developing new student recruitment processes including:  
    • Partnering with student groups on targeted outreach to potential applicants
    • Using key faculty outreach
    • Refining the application review process, including requiring implicit bias training for readers
    • Revising our financial aid awarding process to give more weight to applicants’ level of need
    • Renewing recruiting outreach through admissions and financial aid staff members on the road
    • Reducing barriers to application by offering a more generous application fee waiver, providing workshops for applicants, and introducing a new virtual campus tour so prospective applicants can experience HKS without having to spend money to travel
  • Increasing the use of unrestricted HKS funds for scholarship resources for students working for underserved communities  
  • Supporting student affinity groups focused on perspectives of underrepresented groups 
  • Publishing and sharing an annual HKS demographic report to make diversity data available  
  • Nurturing a vibrant and diverse international student community and holding international student listening sessions
  • Holding mental health information events for students
  • Holding workshops on exploring community and on the imposter phenomenon
  • Hosting an HKS Community Reflection Space in collaboration with Harvard Chaplains
  • Running a Manager Learning Series for staff managers to help them create an inclusive workplace. The workshops address

    psychological safety, understanding neurodiversity, intersectionality, and equity.


HKS is adding new courses and teaching materials and striving to make the classroom experience more inclusive and equitable. 

HKS’s faculty and fellows are conducting research to aid policymakers and public leaders in effectively addressing issues of diversity, equity, and anti-racism. 


HKS is addressing diversity, equity, and anti-racism by convening events, inviting guest speakers with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, and sharing insights with a wide global audience. 

To support HKS’s work in these action areas, we have gathered resources and data.