This DEIJ Strategic Plan was the result of more than a year of community-wide organizing and advocacy, much of it led by BCS postdocs and graduate students. The outrage triggered by the murder of George Floyd and the inadequacy of the initial department response led to long-overdue conversations about the long history of painful, exclusionary practices in the department, MIT and the sciences as a whole.
This plan is just a first step; overcoming this legacy will require sustained, ongoing efforts. But one way we can support such efforts is by recognizing the inspiring nature of this work and honoring the level of engagement in the community.
We worked to ensure that diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and transparency were not just the goals of this plan but built into the processes that crafted it. The plan represents collaborative efforts across the building, including input from staff, students, postdocs, and faculty members; faculty leadership; advice from a BIPOC, women-led independent consulting group with expertise in cultural transformation, equity, and inclusion; and a community of practice representing every lab and staff unit.
Metrics for evaluating the implementation will be developed in the course of the year as part of the strategic plan. If you have suggestions or would like more information, please contact Associate Department Head for DEIJ Laura Schulz or DEIJ Program Officer Farrah Belizaire.
DEIJ Data pertaining to the department can be obtained from the MIT Diversity Dashboard made available through the Office of Institutional Research. Additional data on graduate student diversity, specifically, can be found on the graduate education statistics page (Select Department: Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Select School: School of Science). The Office of Institutional Research has also compiled multiple data sets and survey results exploring many areas including climate and quality of life, enrollment, and degree completion.