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Planning under way for Diversity Leadership Congress

Planning is under way for MIT's Diversity Leadership Congress, an event that will be held next year as a keystone of the Institute's ongoing efforts to further enhance its long-standing commitment to diversity on campus.

The congress, which President Susan Hockfield announced during MIT's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration breakfast in February, will include leaders from across MIT's academic, administrative, and student communities.

As Hockfield noted in her address at the breakfast, "The Diversity Leadership Congress will give us a forum to learn from each other and to reflect on one another's experiences of MIT. It will give us a chance to learn together from people who have successfully built a culture of inclusion in other organizations, and then to think together, creatively, about the next steps for MIT. From this shared understanding, we will develop goals for changing the way we operate, and we will come away with a vivid sense that each of us bears direct responsibility for creating this kind of change."

Chancellor Phillip Clay, Vice President for Institute Affairs and Secretary of the Corporation Kirk Kolenbrander, and Vice President for Human Resources Alison Alden are co-chairing the planning effort.

The co-chairs are working with a variety of faculty and staff stakeholders across campus to develop ideas for the conference. Among those consulted include the Committee on Race and Diversity, The Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity, the Council on Staff Diversity, and representatives from the Undergraduate Association and Graduate Student Council, and they will also be reaching out to many other groups for feedback.

The organizers welcome input from the community to help shape this conference. Suggestions and questions may be e-mailed to

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 21, 2008 (download PDF).

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