Explore some of the many Harvard Kennedy School initiatives to make our campus more welcoming, promote faculty insights on systemic inequities, and enhance diversity and inclusion. Learn more about Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism at HKS.
Kennedy School students explore areas of interest and identity through roughly a dozen student-run journals. These publications give students the opportunity to research and write about policy topics they find especially meaningful. Nancy Gibbs, Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of Press, Politics and Public Policy, and staff and faculty at the Shorenstein Center and around the Kennedy School mentor student writers and editors. Examples of student journals include:
Exploring anti-racism and policy, this journal featured an article on the disproportionate toll that the pandemic has taken in Brazil on Afro-Brazilians and indigenous Brazilians.
This journal investigates issues related to gender, including—in one post—an analysis of the UK’s shared parental leave policy.
A recent op-ed in this journal, which centers on Hispanic and Latinx communities and issues, examined how communities of color are more likely to live near environmental hazards and suffer from pollution and climate change.
Articles in this publication, which focuses on LGBTQ+ issues, include a piece from the summer on dismantling gender hierarchies.
Culture Ambassadors Network
The Culture Ambassadors Network is a group of staff members who seek to build a culture of inclusion and belonging across the Kennedy School. With guidance from a steering committee chaired by Associate Director of Human Resources Jen Goodman and DIB consultant Anisha Asundi, the Culture Ambassadors aim to work with their colleagues across the school to support and advance diversity, equity, and belonging; increase courageous and empowering conversations; and identify ways to create a culture of greater inclusivity, awareness, and understanding at the Kennedy School.
Jen Goodman explains, “I am so proud to partner with the Culture Ambassadors and the steering committee to advance this new initiative, given the importance of diversity, inclusion, and belonging to each of us as individuals. Though it will take time to influence change at HKS, we are already making strides to empower and equip our network of Culture Ambassadors with the right tools, resources, and support.” The Culture Ambassadors and steering committee are passionate about this work and are dedicated to advancing the School’s values. Here’s what they say about the network:
- “In leading an activity for my team discussing issues of race, I have found opportunities for all of us to reflect on our experiences and learn from each other. My hope is that the more this is a part of our culture at HKS, the more authentic our inclusion of a diverse set of experiences will be.” —Ian Tosh, Assistant Director of Educational Technology, Academic Deans’ Office & SLATE
- “I was able to lead an activity for Indigenous Peoples Day I learned from the Culture Ambassadors Program. This activity allowed my colleagues to engage in discussions around land acknowledgements and historical land occupation in a way that we would not have without my confidence from going through this activity with my fellow Culture Ambassadors. We were able to take more time in our staff meeting to discuss Indigenous Peoples Day, this activity, and learn more about our own experiences with indigenous land. We all benefitted from taking the time to learn more about this topic. —Victoria Barnum, Program Coordinator and Faculty Assistant, Evidence for Policy Design, Center for International Development
- “As a person of color and a relative newcomer to the staff of HKS, I am pleased to be part of a School-wide group committed to consciously addressing HKS’ internal culture through the lens of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.” —Zena Lum, Director of Development, Alumni Relations and Resource Development
- “It is important to me to do more to help move the needle on DIB. I’m not an expert on these topics, but I also feel strongly that we can’t simply leave this work to the ‘experts,’ or to expect colleagues from marginalized backgrounds to do the ‘heavy lifting’ here. So, I’m learning, along with my fellow Culture Ambassadors, and sharing with our broader staff colleagues too.” —Glenn Cunningham, Associate Director, Office of Career Advancement, Degree Programs and Student Affairs
- “The Culture Ambassadors are here to share ideas and bring best practices to our colleagues across HKS. It is an ongoing process, but I am excited about the conversations we have had so far. There are so many smart people with a variety of experiences at HKS. Trying to find ways for everyone to contribute their perspective is daunting, but ultimately so useful.” —Matthew Parent, Impact and Outreach Coordinator, Faculty Assistant Group
- “I’m having conversations with co-workers that I never expected to have. I really like the group exercises we’ve been doing. It’s an empowering feeling to be able to share my perspective and know that I will be heard and vice versa.” —Alan Lopez, Assistant Building Planning Manager, Campus Planning and Operations
Policycast Podcast on Reparations Research
In this recent episode of PolicyCast, a podcast series produced by the Kennedy School’s communications office, faculty members Cornell William Brooks and Linda Bilmes speak with host Ralph Ranalli about a study they have conducted on reparations, restorative justice, and the norms for compensation for harms suffered across generations. Brooks is the Hauser Professor of the Practice of Nonprofit Organizations and Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice. Bilmes is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy.
In the podcast, Brooks explains, “When you talk about restorative justice in flesh-and-blood terms, it means: How do we restore people in terms of land sold? How do we restore a people in terms of dignity robbed? Bodies violated? Liberty taken?” Bilmes observes that we already do provide restorative justice for many groups who have suffered harms—including, recently, people who were unable to work during the pandemic. She says, “the United States has a norm, a longstanding norm, of providing reparatory compensation to individuals who've suffered harms—all kinds of harms that are largely outside of their control.”
Banner image: Chris Wood "Spyra", Dichroic and light; part of Art at HKS; photo by Mackey Howe/Boston Art