Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

HDS is committed to diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIB) as an expression of our shared community values, and attends to the needs of our vibrant, pluralistic community of faculty, students, staff, and alumni. We carry out these values through our authentic embrace of diverse religious and non-religious traditions, and other dimensions of diversity.

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Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging, Melissa Bartholomew, is a leader in this community-wide effort. Dean Bartholomew collaborates with the Racial Justice & Healing Committee and the Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (both comprised of faculty, students, and staff—see lists below) to build an anti-racist and anti-oppressive Harvard Divinity School. Our intentional focus on the multiple and intersectional dimensions of DIB will help to ensure that HDS is an institution where all members of its community can flourish and feel a deep sense of belonging.

Building an Anti-racist & Anti-oppressive Harvard Divinity School

This theme expresses our explicit commitment to dismantling racism and other systems of oppression at HDS. It envisions a school actively engaged in examining policies, systems, and practices, and implementing changes where necessary to ensure the institution is in alignment with this theme. Particular attention will be paid to identifying explicit and implicit racism, white supremacy, and other systems of oppression in the classroom, curricula, and pedagogy, and to working towards their eradication.

The work also requires that members of the school community personally engage in the ongoing self-examination needed to unlearn and heal from internalized racism, oppression, and unconscious and conscious bias. Individual, interpersonal, and institutional commitments to anti-racist and anti-oppressive work are all necessary to confront and redress racist and oppressive systems. These commitments are foundational to cultivating healthy relationships for a vibrant learning community. This will further strengthen our study of religion in service of a just world at peace across religious and cultural divides.  

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Anti-racist & Anti-oppressive Initiatives

Reorientation & Common Read

The HDS Common Read program is a community-wide, year-long series of events aiming to reorient ourselves around our shared HDS values and commitments focused on dismantling and healing from racism and oppression. Our actions and discussions are centered on The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing, and U.S. Social Transformation by Fania E. Davis. We hope reading this text, and our personal and community engagement with it, will deepen our understanding of the manifestations of systemic racism and equip us with tools for addressing it, and healing from it, within the HDS community and beyond.

We believe it will also support us in the critical personal work that we each must commit to purposefully in order to facilitate structural change. We aim for this commitment to cultivate healthy relationships for a vibrant learning community where we can access a deep and authentic sense of belonging. 

Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice

Belonging is deeply ethical, transformatively human, connected to social justice, rooted in a universal longing, and is something which every one of us must take responsibility for. Belonging is a beautiful word. It is worth striving for. It should be who we are.

- David N. Hempton, Dean of Harvard Divinity School

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Events

Join in the conversation and work toward our vision of building an anti-racist & anti-oppressive HDS through book discussions, committee meetings, and small group settings facilitated through a restorative approach. 

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Harvard-Wide DIB Resources

Harvard University is committed to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Explore more DIB work across Harvard. 

We cannot flourish in our humanity unless we acknowledge the full humanity of others. This is the way of being that we embody here [at HDS], and one that we must carry out into the world, in whatever place we inhabit, and in whatever work we do.

- Melissa Wood Bartholomew, MDiv ’15, Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging

 

Related Policies

Learn more about HDS's Nondiscrimination Policy 

Committee Members

Standing Committee on Diversity & Inclusion: 

  • Anna Anctil (staff) 
  • Melissa Wood Bartholomew (staff) 
  • Davíd Carrasco (faculty) 
  • Jessica Young Chang (student) 
  • Steph Grayson Gauchel (staff) 
  • Lesedi Graveline (student) 
  • Janet Gyatso (faculty) 
  • Karen King (faculty) 
  • Dan McKanan (faculty) 
  • Diane Moore (faculty) 
  • Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato (student) 
  • Jacob Olupona (faculty) 
  • Xavier Isaiah Sayeed (student) 
  • Kayla Smith (student) 
  • Odeviz Soto (staff) 
  • Timothy Whelsky (staff)

Racial Justice & Healing Committee: 

  • Anna Anctil (staff) 
  • Melissa Wood Bartholomew (staff) 
  • Ann Braude (faculty) 
  • Katie Caponera (staff) 
  • Davíd Carrasco (faculty) 
  • Steph Grayson Gauchel (staff) 
  • Janet Gyatso (faculty) 
  • David Holland (faculty) 
  • Amos Jackson (student) 
  • Jamie Johnson-Riley (staff) 
  • Karen King (faculty) 
  • Kerry Maloney (staff) 
  • Dan McKanan (faculty) 
  • Diane Moore (faculty) 
  • John Markham O’Connor (student) 
  • Jacob Olupona (faculty) 
  • Stephanie Paulsell (faculty) 
  • Mayya Rivera (faculty) 
  • Toni Sacco (student) 
  • Kayla Smith (student) 
  • Timothy Whelsky (staff)