Office of Diversity Inclusion

The Office of Diversity Inclusion promotes increased recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented minority students and faculty at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The Office, led by Josephine Kim, PhD, seeks to emulate the Harvard tradition of excellence in education, science, and public health by supporting a well-trained faculty, while creating oral health leaders reflecting the larger community that we serve.

Goals

  • Foster an environment that is comfortable and welcoming to all members of the community
  • Provide support for a diverse population
  • Develop a recruitment strategy to increase enrollment of students from underrepresented minority groups
  • Develop and implement a plan to recruit faculty from underrepresented minority groups
  • Enhance and develop curricula that address issues of diversity, cross-cultural care, and sensitivity

Partners

The HSDM Office of Diversity Inclusion partners with several offices at Harvard Medical School, including the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership and Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs.

The Launch of Diversity Dialogues at HSDM

By Jenay Davis and Ashiana Jivraj

On Monday, February 27, 2017, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with ASDA and SNDA, asked the question “How offensive are you?” At the well-attended launch of Diversity Dialogues, Dr. Josephine Kim, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, posed this question to faculty, staff, and students. When asked about what motivated the launch of Diversity Dialogues, Dr. Kim said, “Until we become so good at diversity and inclusion that it becomes our default way of being, we have to create intentional spaces where we explicitly talk about issues of diversity.”

In professions such as dentistry, service providers cross paths with people from diverse backgrounds, and cultural competence is often a challenge. What Dr. Kim showed the group was that we cannot be culturally competent without coming from a place of humility and grace. After activities that invited attendees to interact with each other to discuss their own culture and to unpack how certain behaviors could be offensive to others, attendees had an opportunity to reflect on the impact of cultural differences on their everyday interactions with colleagues.

Dr. Kim summarized the presentation by saying, “We can be offensive even when we have great intentions. That’s why we have an obligation to be culturally sensitive, to give people a chance, and to constantly self-assess.” The Diversity Dialogues session provided an opportunity for HSDM members to reflect on what makes them who they are and to understand the value of cultural competency in our academic community. We look forward to having many more sessions that unite and celebrate the many different cultures of HSDM.

 

Diversity Event: HSDM Students Stand Together for Peace

At the end of 2015, students from HSDM gathered together for an event to promote peace after violent attacks around the world throughout the year of 2015. View their video messages for peace: