MIT launched a new website titled "Inventing Our Future" (http://diversity.mit.edu) on Monday, Oct. 26, that aims to promote diversity and inclusion by providing members of the MIT community with a mechanism for engaging each other in dialogue and action. The highly dynamic site, features video profiles of members of the MIT community, blogs, resource and event listings, and invitations to participate in several initiatives. Throughout the site, members of the MIT community are invited to comment, share articles with others and participate in events.
The design and functionality of the site draw on messages that community members voiced in discussions earlier this year. Specifically, members of the community said the site should demonstrate diversity at MIT rather than write about its importance, use a broad definition of diversity, and be honest about MIT's current challenges.
One highlight of the site is a collection of videos featuring members of the MIT community discussing some aspect of diversity at MIT as it relates to them. Chair of the Faculty Tom Kochan speaks of the natural tensions and opportunities that arise when a diverse group of people come together. Undergraduate student Rosemarie de la Rosa talks about the importance of reaching out beyond your own cultural group. Abigail Francis, director of LBGT Services, recognizes that the creation of her position put MIT on the forefront of efforts to support LBGT members of the community.
A blog post written by Ed Bertschinger, chair of the Physics Department, challenges his colleagues to step out of their comfort zone to recruit more diverse faculty.
One initiative launched by the site is "MIT's Diversity Story," which aims to identify links and documents that chart the course of diversity at MIT. This initiative, supported by a Graduate Community Fellowship through the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education, will result in the creation of a diversity timeline that will highlight particularly significant events and the development of proposals and projects to fill any gaps in our understanding of MIT's evolving story. All community members are invited to share their knowledge of relevant events and documentation.
A new feature on the MIT events calendar allows groups posting events to indicate that the event promotes diversity and inclusion. All noted events will simultaneously be posted on "Inventing Our Future."