To HKS Students, Faculty, Staff, and Fellows,

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and welcoming community where everyone can thrive is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership—because recruiting and empowering the best people makes us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies. Our core values call on us as well to oppose racism and other systemic injustices, using our skills and energies to help build a world with respect and dignity for all.

Over time, students, faculty, staff, and alumni at the Kennedy School have developed, advocated for, and implemented changes to advance these crucial goals. I am writing today to provide several updates on this work.

First, I encourage everyone to visit the new webpages describing the School’s approach to diversity, equity, and anti-racism. These pages present our vision and strategy, and they summarize our key action areas with numerous initiatives being developed and advanced by students, staff, and faculty.

Second, we have released this year’s report on basic information about our demographic diversity. Publishing these data on a regular basis was an important recommendation of the student-faculty-staff task force on diversity and inclusion that I convened several years ago.

Third, I hope you will read a new “spotlight” on selected diversity, equity, and anti-racism efforts here. The spotlight offers an overview of our initiative for inclusive art, our podcast on faculty insights for reducing systemic inequities, and the new student Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Associates Program that was sparked by student interest.

Fourth, we have updated the charge to the School’s Diversity Committee to ensure that its purpose, structure, and operations continue to serve us well. The student-staff-faculty “DivCo,” as it is often known, has long been at the center of the School’s efforts to lift the voices of members of our community and to enhance our diversity strategy and implement specific changes.

I look forward to continuing to work with you to strengthen diversity, equity, and anti-racism. Helping to create a better Kennedy School and a better world is our collective responsibility.