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.

What Makes Belonging Real at HSDM?

By Diversity and Inclusion Fellows

ODI workshopOn May 19, 2017, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) welcomed Stephanie Khurana, a member of the President’s Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, to co-lead a workshop for HSDM students with Dr. Josephine Kim, Director of ODI.

Stephanie introduced the session by highlighting the Task Force’s goals: “The aim of the President’s Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging is to realize the full potential of each person within our community across Harvard’s campuses, so that everyone can thrive. We strive to foster more open and inclusive communities, where people experience a true sense of belonging.” She further explained that the goals of the outreach workshops are “to seek open dialogue and spark ideas to increase belonging, from what you can do tomorrow among fellow students, staff, faculty and academic personnel to support one another’s growth, as well as to hear systems-level, organizational, and symbolic ideas.”

The workshop was centered around the question “What can we do to increase our sense of belonging at Harvard on an individual, school, and institution-wide level?” and the following themes emerged:

  • Greater presence of the University at HSDM.
  • Increased opportunities for student contributions.
  • More inclusive spaces on and off campus.
  • Bearing equal responsibility as students.

Stephanie concluded the workshop with the Task Force’s trajectory by stating, “Our work is positioned at the University level and intended to complement school-specific initiatives. We are in the process of coalescing our learnings from this discovery phase and are turning to developing recommendations this coming fall. We plan to share our report with the President next Spring.”

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion would like to thank Stephanie Khurana and the President’s Task Force for their time and commitment. The hope is for this story to encourage everyone to take part in building a stronger sense of belonging at HSDM.

You can learn more about the President’s Task Force here, and your ideas can be contributed to the Solutions Space, particularly if you were unable to attend a workshop.

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: