Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) Committee

EDIB Word cloud with words such as Collaboration, Awareness, and RespectThe Department of Epidemiology’s EDIB committee is an advisory group consisting of a diverse membership of faculty, researchers, students, and staff who are committed to promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging throughout the department in various ways.   

Working closely with department leadership, the committee has been meeting twice monthly as a group since it was established in the spring of 2021. The committee also consults regularly with the Harvard Chan School’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), to align priorities and goals. Member Tia Hira serves as the ODI Departmental Committee Liaison who participates in ongoing engagement and communication with ODI in key areas throughout the year. 

Timeline Major Activities
May 2021 Conducted an initial department-wide climate survey. Read summary of key findings.
October 2021 Submitted Academic Year 2020-2021 EDIB Annual Report to ODI
November 2021 Submitted Academic Year 2022-2023 Priority Objectives to ODI
December 2021 Conducted a second department-wide survey collecting seminar speaker suggestions to help diversify the range of speakers that are considered for department seminars. 

Three priority areas were defined by the School’s ODI and are described in their 2021-2024 strategic plan Foundations for Sustainable Progress & Transformation: An Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan for the Harvard Chan School).

Departments were asked to use these areas as a guide when defining areas of focus, opportunities, and objectives. As a result, our committee came up with the following goals for the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

Committee Goals for 2021-2022 Academic Year

Encourage a Supportive and Diverse Learning Culture

  • Increase the diversity of speakers and speaker topics for the weekly seminars in the Department of Epidemiology by implementing a system that will engage the whole department for speaker nominations
  • If their research topic is influenced by issues of health inequity, encourage speakers to discuss this issue in their talk in addition to more traditional scientific content. 

Increase Diversity and Representation  

  • Increase the diversity of our researcher candidate pools by:
    • Systematically reviewing job postings to ensure the use of inclusive language (e.g., eliminating gender-based language and terms, avoiding industry jargon, and ensuring ADA compliance) and  
    • Promoting equitable requirements (e.g., determining what are truly basic qualifications of the job versus additional/preferred qualifications).

Communications and Resources    

  • Develop and implement an EDIB page on the department website to increase access and visibility of EDIB work and resources within and outside the department   
  • Keep this webpage regularly updated on committee activities and progress 
  • Work with members of the department to write and develop a mission statement for the department. 


 Questions? Email us (EPIDEPT@hsph.harvard.edu).