Northeastern has a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. We are poised to lead other institutions of higher education in promoting diversity and creating a culture of inclusion within and across all missions of the university. Diversity is critical to our commitment to engage with the world, and to impart learning through our powerful experiential model.
Inclusion is essential because we value the contribution that everyone can make in our community and recognize that only as an inclusive community can we conquer society’s grand challenges—including the realities that divide us. Northeastern has the advantage of being located in the heart of a dynamic and very diverse urban neighborhood, and we are in a city going through rapid demographic change. This presents challenges and opportunities for the Northeastern community and the communities we are part of.
There is still much work to be done as we encourage diversity and inclusion in our student body, faculty, staff, and community engagement. President Aoun recently issued a bold statement regarding the importance of diversity and inclusion at Northeastern and invited members of the Northeastern community to offer ideas. As Northeastern continually strives to create an inclusive university where difference is appreciated and understood as a source of strength, we ask for your thoughts on the following questions:
Questions for Discussion
- How can the following description of diversity and inclusion be enhanced?
“Diversity is an inclusive mixture of our differences and similarities represented by race, culture, color, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, genetics, religion, religious creed, disability status, veteran status, familial status, culture, language, communication, education, socioeconomic status and other dimensions of life. Diversity is also about intergroup relations and our lived experience with each other as neighbors and citizens of the world. Northeastern strives to be an inclusive and welcoming community. We acknowledge and seek to celebrate the diversity of our community, promoting tolerance and the search for greater understanding among the many strands that make up the rich fabric of our community.” (statement based on an institutional definition of diversity that has been previously used for Northeastern)
- Does the above statement capture your vision of diversity and inclusion? How would you suggest improving upon it?
- How would you finish this sentence: Northeastern University should define diversity and inclusion as…?
- How would you finish this sentence: We will have achieved an inclusive Northeastern community when…?
- How do we most effectively develop a diverse population in our university community?
- What do we need to do as a community to foster a more inclusive environment?
- What should we be doing to foster diversity and inclusion discussions in the classroom and co-curricular activities?
- What existing programs can we extend or new initiatives can we implement to increase diversity and promote inclusivity in our student body, faculty, and staff?
- How can we deepen our engagement with our Boston neighbors to enhance our diversity and inclusion efforts?
- In what ways can the commitment to diversity extend opportunities to diverse members of the surrounding community?
- How can Northeastern lead the dialogue on race and class now underway across Boston and around the country?