What is #consciousharvard?
#consciousharvard is an initiative that creates public spaces, both physical and virtual, for action-focused dialogue about diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging at Harvard. Funded by the President’s Administrative Innovation Fund (PAIF) in 2018, the project invites members of the Harvard community to offer reflections and insights in response to prompts such as “I feel excluded when…” and “Harvard can make me feel more included by…”.
What are we trying to do?
The mission of our project is to contribute to university-wide efforts to increase awareness of inclusion and belonging through the use of physical and virtual open space. We believe that through a community-authored public sounding board, live facilitated conversation, and an online forum, the entire University will have an opportunity to be heard. In addition, the benefit of individual participation ensures that the individual becomes more aware of their own role in negating or creating an inclusive environment. #consciousharvard will move the needle from good intentions to impactful results by engaging a broad cross-section of the community in addressing this need in a creative way.
How are we doing that?
The project team worked with Harvard GSD designers to create the Sounding Board, an interactive mobile platform that stands 8 feet tall and serves as the centerpiece of in-person inclusion and belonging programs. As a companion to facilitated dialogues, storytelling and presentations, the Sounding Board welcomes self-reflection through the use of a chalkboard, sticky notes, magnetic poetry and a selfie mirror. Additionally, the #consciousharvard website uses mobile polling technology to collect community reflections and suggestions and connect people to inclusion-related activities and resources across campus. All responses to #consciousharvard prompts, whether posted to the Sounding Board or submitted to our website, are added to a growing database of insights and suggestions.
How will the collected data be used?
We are analyzing the data to identify consistent themes and concrete solutions. We are making our data and findings available to Senior Advisor to the President, John Wilson, and to other University leaders and groups responsible for achieving a culture of sustainable inclusive excellence at Harvard.
How can you help?
You can include the #consciousharvard Sounding Board in your own diversity and equity programming. Let’s talk about your plans and how the #consciousharvard team can help.
Who are we?
The #consciousharvard project team is composed of staff members from Global Support Services, Common Spaces, the Center for Workplace Development and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. We are personally and professionally committed to sustainable inclusive excellence at Harvard.
The #ConsciousHarvard team is commited to providing a safe space where the community can express their experiences around inclusion and belonging at Harvard. We also aim to engage in conversation, host impactful events, and find effective ways to promote a conscious community. Beyond the physical structure, we want community memebers to continue dialogue. WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO CONNECT WITH US.