#Shutdown Wednesday

Dear Harvard Chan School Community,

I am heartened to see the rapid support for #ShutDownSTEM across academia. I encourage everyone in our community to observe the model of #ShutDownSTEM this Wednesday. I will take time to self-reflect and have encouraged the School’s leadership team to do the same. I endorse the opportunity to forego “business as usual” and instead to take the time for self-reflection, reading, reaching out to one another, and engaging in constructive demonstration or other peaceful activities.

In addition to other steps you may take as part of critical self-reflection, I encourage you to visit #ShutDownSTEM and utilize their resources to 1) help you get started, 2) identify your personal areas of growth, and 3) make a personal plan of action. Not everyone need observe this pause in the same way, and I ask you to avoid making judgements about anyone’s decisions.

We can do better. We can learn from tragedy, heartbreak, oppression, and inertia and turn toward hope, equity, and social justice.

The School is working on a clear action plan for how we can do better, and our Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be sending additional communications in the coming days about ways we can come together to become a more inclusive and supportive community.

Sincerely, and in solidarity,


Michelle A. Williams, ScD

Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School