The 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||First Year 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.
Commitee Goals for 2022-2023 Academic Year
Goal #1: Develop a stronger EDIB Committee identity and create greater visibility of the group through department engagement aimed at fostering learning opportunities by:
- Organizing seminars, workshops, and journal clubs aimed at educating faculty, researchers, students, and staff on DEI topics.
- Inquiring with HSPH ODI on funding availability to support the seminar speakers and workshop facilitators.
- Leveraging preexisting department events, such as socials and office hours, to highlight and gather feedback on EDIB work in the department.
Goal #2: Increase the diversity and membership of the Epi Department EDIB Committee. This will allow the committee to engage more of our student and researcher populations, providing the opportunity for diverse voices to be heard and acknowledged in the EDIB initiatives and decision-making process by:
- Joining forced with the CCDD EDIB Committee.
- Establishing committee structure and best practices guidelines for the group.
- Exploring how the department may implement and fund one student EDIB leadership role annually.
Goal #3: CCDD will host the 11th Annual Workshop to Promote Diversity in Mathematical Modeling. The general aim of this event is to foster spaces for learning and networking within the field of mathematical modeling for students generally underrepresented in the field, including women, POC, LGBTQIA+, disabled individuals, and those coming from otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds and to spread knowledge about the different career paths within and outside academia available to these individuals. Goal is to increase representation of speakers and diversity of students by:
- Creating an interest form to obtain data on student attendee demographics – this will help ensure we admit students from varying backgrounds
- Ensure the guest speaker panel is representative of varying identity markers
Goal #4: Develop and draft an EDIB Mission Statement for the Epi Department by:
- Inquiring with other department heads and/or EDIB liaisons at HSPH about their mission statement drafting process to learn about best practices.
- After collecting information, begin drafting and sharing mission statement with the Epi community to obtain feedback before finalizing the vision and mission statement.
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).