The next phase of Belonging at Yale will delve into our history, assess and build on our current actions, support members of the university community, and create a stronger Yale for the future. As announced by President Salovey on October 14, 2020, these programs will ensure Yale’s leadership in teaching and conducting research and scholarship of the highest caliber, by cultivating our diverse strengths and our sense that we each belong and can thrive.
These new initiatives rose out of the recommendations of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, which he formed in January. The committee was chaired by Kimberly Goff-Crews, University Secretary and Vice President for University Life, and Gary Desir, Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity and Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine. The committee’s work drew on insights across the Yale community to identify the most urgent goals for creating an environment that supports every individual’s full participation in the life of the university.
Over the next five years, specific strategies and actions advancing these goals will be implemented across the university. Assessment and review will allow us to see areas of success as well as challenge, and these measures assume the flexibility to respond to changing needs.
I. Scholarship, Research, and Teaching
• Launch the Center for Law and Racial Justice, an interdisciplinary hub for teaching, research, and policy work on racial equity and justice issues, using a successful Yale Law School pedagogical model that enables students to learn by doing and faculty to turn their classrooms “inside out.”
• Determine the best ways to ensure high levels of collaboration and project prioritization among centers, programs, and departments that conduct scholarship and research in fields relevant to addressing racism.
• Expand the number of courses that examine race and antiracism issues.
• Sponsor educational programs and events on issues of racism, including historical context, contemporary systemic racism and privilege, successful antiracist strategies, and allyship.
• Highlight these and similar programs as priorities for fundraising.
II. Diversity of the Yale Community
• Attract and retain underrepresented minority faculty, with a focus on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) faculty.
• Establish a Staff Leadership Initiative to further develop the pipeline of staff who will bring excellence and diversity to university leadership ranks.
• Attract underrepresented minority students by expanding pipeline and pathway programs, such as the Eli Whitney and First-Year Scholars Programs, and by growing resources for need-based financial aid.
• Offer focused educational programs and mentorship to postdoctoral scholars at Yale in preparation for faculty positions throughout the country and worldwide.
III. Equitable Process, Procedures, and Response
• Study and revise the model for public safety at Yale, with particular focus on policing.
• Develop a university-wide program, based on restorative justice principles, to support informal resolution mechanisms in response to racist and other unacceptable behaviors.
• Assess and align responses to gender discrimination and sexual misconduct (Title IX) with responses to other forms of discrimination and harassment.
• Enhance accessibility to ensure community members with a wide range of disabilities can take full advantage of Yale’s resources.
IV. Professional and Personal Development of Inclusive Practice
• Develop a university-wide strategy to deepen inclusive practices that encourage participation at all levels in university life.
• Meaningfully engage all alumni across generations – including those without a strong connection to contemporary Yale – with the university’s excellence today, and through the study and sharing of experiences and viewpoints on complex questions being addressed on campus and in society.
V. Acknowledgment, Recognition, and Respect
• Amplify faculty research and scholarship in fields relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and antiracism.
• Launch examinations of Yale’s connections to slavery and interactions with Indigenous peoples.
• Develop additional activities and events that mutually benefit New Haven and Yale, recognizing the New Haven region as home to diverse populations who contribute to and benefit from Yale’s mission.
• Expand and diversify the vendor, contractor, and professional consultants pool through a business diversity program for schools and units.
• Continue to work with New Haven retailers who rent university-owned spaces to help them withstand the impact of the pandemic on their revenues.
VI. Communication, Transparency, and Accountability
• Require all academic and administrative units to develop—as many have already— local DEI and belonging plans that include actions to address needs of BIPOC staff, faculty, and students.
• Launch an annual meeting of senior leadership to assess progress toward the goals, share best practices, review benchmarks, and consider updates to the university’s strategic direction with respect to DEI and belonging.
• Create a robust university-wide data hub to assist with unit and university-wide plans.