November 19, 2015
Dear Harvard College Students,
The recent events on campuses across the nation underscore the importance of our continuing efforts to build a culture of inclusion on our campus. Last week, I wrote to let you know that I have been inspired by the way our community has engaged in difficult conversations about these issues. Today, I write to let you know about the recommendations for action by the Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion.
In May 2014, the Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion, chaired by Plummer Professor of Christian Morals Jonathan L. Walton and composed of students, faculty, and staff, began the important work of assessing Harvard College’s learning and living environment to determine how each of you can benefit equally from Harvard’s liberal arts educational and service mission. Today, Harvard College is issuing the final report of the Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion, which offers recommendations for how the College can best support you as students.
The Working Group’s recommendations illustrate that while the College has made progress in supporting historically underserved groups at Harvard and removing unnecessary markers of social distinction, we have much more work to do. I encourage each of you to read this report, and to consider, as I am, possible actions that we should take, and are already taking, to ensure that Harvard can become a truly inclusive community.
Your College needs you. Your voices—as you share your suggestions, your concerns, your frustrations, and your aspirations—are essential in this dialogue about how to make Harvard College a better place for all of us to live, learn, and grow. I am incredibly thankful for the thoughtfulness with which each of you has approached matters of diversity and inclusion on our campus. I look forward to your continued engagement as we work to create a culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging and responsibility for our campus.