Mission Statement

Anthropology Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) Committee

First established in 1890 as the Department of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard’s Anthropology Department today is a dynamic and diverse community of scholars, students, and staff whose work seeks to understand human diversity in the distant past and the present and to recognize the remarkable array of circumstances in which human beings live their lives and make meaning from them.  

On May 29 and June 5, 2020, our community was deeply shaken by two articles published in the Harvard Crimson that reported allegations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior by faculty associated with the Anthropology Department. The alleged misconduct is an affront to our core values as a department and our mission to educate tomorrow’s scholars and leaders. While the mechanisms for investigating the allegations and imposing sanctions fall outside the purview of the department, there is much that we can do to strengthen our department, rebuild trust within our community, and empower our most vulnerable members to speak out. We are fully committed to the support and success of our students, and we are dedicated to repairing and rebuilding our relationships over the long term to create a more supportive and equitable departmental culture.

In response, we established a standing committee with representatives from all departmental constituencies – undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, and alumni – to conduct a year-long self-study that allowed us to identify our strengths and weaknesses and make meaningful and lasting departmental improvements so that we may reach our full potential. Within this standing committee, we formed eight subcommittees whose mission served to evaluate in detail the core aspects of our departmental structure, processes, history, and trajectory, and to recommend measures that will enable us to strengthen our mission and to foster a supportive departmental community in which our students, faculty, and staff can thrive.

In Fall 2022, the Anthropology Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) Committee was created as an evolution of the previous standing committee in order to continue and expand the Anthropology Department's work and efforts in maintaining a supportive and equitable community culture.