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Committee for the Promotion of Diversity & Inclusion: Past Events

FY 2018

Harvest Social potluck lunch and discussion - October 30, 2017 (Grace K and Frances)

CPDI invites you to a Harvest Potluck, the first of two community lunches for Libraries and Press staff (the second will be held on an afternoon in the Spring).

Please join us on October 30, 2017 from 12-1:30pm in the Bush Room and bring along a dish that has cultural, familial and/or personal significance for you - for example, a dish that has served as comfort food for you or that your family has made for generations.

Part of the work of diversity and inclusion is to build empathy and compassion through meaningful relationships based on trust, safety, authenticity and diverse representation.

By sharing a meal as a community, we seek to increase awareness of each other as individuals with diverse histories and unique perspectives. We will take this time to share and honor our differences through meaningful stories, engaging questions and discussion topics.

Please also include a list of ingredients for your dish. You are welcome to drop in as you’re able to join the meal and conversation.


Accessible Presentations presentation - November 6, 2017 (Sofia and Frances (CPDI), Stacey (MITLib), Barbara Johnson (IS&T))

The Teaching & Learning (T&L) Program and CPDI, in collaboration with the Disability ERG, are offering a presentation and hands-on workshop on accessibility best practices for presentations and instruction. Please RVSP so we know how much food to get! 

The first 30-40 minutes will be our presentations and the last 20-30 minutes will be time to workshop your own presentations. We’ll also have a guest speaker from the Disability ERG and allow time for questions. We have the DIRC booked for an extra 30 minutes, so there will be time to play around with the mics. There will be snacks (both vegan and gluten-free)!
Please use this WebEx link to watch the presentation if you can’t make it in person. We’ll also be recording it and making it available afterwards. If you need any accommodations, please let me know.

Slides with notes:​


Please note: List may be incomplete

FY 2017

Black Lives Matter bookmobile - February 28, 2017 (Grace K and Julia)

Julia Lanigan and Grace hosted a Black Lives Matter Bookmobile in the lobby of Stata (building 32) on Tuesday, February 28th, 11am-1pm. We have a created a libguide that lists many of the titles that will be included in the bookmobile as well as informational resources about the BLM movement: There is also a Pinterest page featuring some of the incredible cover art:


Hosted Agreeing to Disagree: an ICEO community discussion - March 20, 2017

In the last months, there has been much talk about the need to heal our divided – and divisive – country. How can people with strong opinions remain open to dissent, discussion, and disagreement? Are there opinions or perspectives that have no place in a respectful, caring community? How can we engage, respectfully and productively, in an exchange of ideas with others who don’t agree with us, while still holding fast to our own beliefs?


Film screening of Somaliland: The Abaarso Story  - Saturday, April 29th

​Somaliland is a feature-length documentary about hope, perseverance, and the transformative power of education. After a destructive civil war with Somalia, Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 but has remained unrecognized since. In 2009 a young Wall Street executive moved to Somaliland and opened a high school to develop the future leaders of the country. The film follows five of his students as they apply to American schools and universities, with the hopes of their friends, families, school, and country on their shoulders. They are attempting to join the ranks of the first Somali students to attend US schools in over 30 years. Immediately following the film, there will be discussion and Q&A with the following speakers: Jonathan Starr, Founder, Abaarso School; Mubarik Mohamoud, MIT student, Abaarso School Alum; Ben Powell, Co-director, Somaliland; Harry Lee, Co-director, Somaliland. Sponsored by International Student office, CIS & Libraries


Ally Skills in Contentious times (Kendra Albert event) - July 26, 2017 

An ally is someone who stands up in support of members of another social identity group; this workshop will help you learn how to step up and use your societal advantages to help marginalized people. The workshop teaches three different intervention styles with different goals. Participants practice basic ally responses, which aim primarily to set norms about acceptable behavior; bystander intervention strategies, which aim to intervene to assist targets of harassment directly; and strategies for talking to defensive people about hard topics, which aim to change minds. This highly interactive session will provide an opportunity to develop your ally skills in a safe and comfortable learning environment. Facilitated by Kendra Albert. 


Please note: List may be incomplete

FY 2016

Bookmobile: Celebrating Black History month

Date: Friday, February 19, 2016

Time: 12:00 pm-4:00 pm

Place: W20 Student Center by La Verde entrance

Writing Black History into Wikipedia

public edit-a-thon (participate on site or remotely)

Date: Friday, January 29, 2016

Time: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Place: 14N-132 (DIRC)

Participants should feel free to come and go as needed during the session. People who have never edited Wikipedia before are encouraged to join us at 1pm. We will do a walk-through of basic editing practices.      To register, go to IAP page     Check the Wikipedia meetup page

Attending ALA Midwinter? Workshop: “If I Hadn’t Believed It, I Wouldn’t Have Seen It: Exploring Systemic Racism and Its Implications for Our Lives and Work”

Dates: Sunday, January 10, 2016 or Monday,  January 11, 2016

Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Place: The Constitution Room at the Seaport Boston Hotel

The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, with support from ALA President-Elect Julie Todaro, is offering two free four-hour anti-racism workshops facilitated by Community Change, Inc. as part of the 2016 Midwinter Meeting.   All registered ALA attendees are invited to participate.  These interactive workshops will explore how race, systemic racism, and racial privilege have implications for our personal and professional lives and will provide tools to help us better recognize and address racism and other forms of oppression in our relationships, organizations, and institutions.

FY 2015

Date: Monday, January 26, 2015

Time: 12:15pm-1:30pm

Place: 2-105

RSVP: Please accept CPDI Announcement email sent to you on Monday, 1/12/2015 at 5:34pm

Join the Asian Pacific American ERG and CPDI for a screening of Waking in Oak Creek (34 minutes), a film about a deadly 2012 hate crime and its aftermath: “a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed.” The screening will be followed by a discussion, and lunch will be served.

About the film (from

As the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin prepares for Sunday prayers, a deadly hate attack shatters their lives, but not their resilience. After six worshipers are killed by a white supremacist, the local community finds inspiration in the Sikh tradition of forgiveness and faith. Lieutenant Murphy, shot 15 times in the attack, joins the mayor and police chief as they forge new bonds with the Sikh community. Young temple members, still grieving, emerge as leaders in the quest to end the violence. In the year following the tragedy, thousands gather for vigils and community events to honor the victims and seek connection. Together, a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism.

This film was produced in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office as part of the Not In Our Town: Working Together for Safe, Inclusive Communities Initiative.

FY 2014

CPDI will be hosting an LGBT 101 session with Abigail Francis, MIT's Director of LBGT Services.   We will learn more about issues and vocabulary, as well as MIT’s existing LGBT resources.  The session will help everyone become a better ally to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender colleagues and students.  We’ll learn how we can contribute to making MIT a safer and more welcoming campus. 

There will be two identical sessions.  Lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 11:45am-1pm, and Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1-2:15pm

The Committee on the Promotion of Diversity & Inclusion (CPDI) would like to invite you to a Social Fall season gathering for soft drinks, snacks, fellowship, good conversation, and music!

When: Wednesday, September 24, from 3-4pm

Where: Dewey Library, E53-212

Come make connections with new colleagues and strengthen relationships with those you know well.  This is an open and informal event with no program or agenda, so feel free to come and go as you please. 

Discussion session about  "Active Bystanders,  MicroInequalities & MicroAgressions with Mary Rowe"

Tuesday, July 22nd, 1-2pm, 4-253

          Food for Thought:

CPDI has posted this "self quiz" as an exercise you can do privately, on your own, to think about the unconscious biases and assumptions you may bring to the search process for a new MIT Libraries' Director.

The exercise is particularly powerful when you print the grid and mark a box for each category, so we have provided a printable PDF for your use.  (Scroll down for the attached "Self Quiz" document.)

How would you personally feel about the MIT Libraries’ hiring a Director who is…


Impact of Implicit Bias

This webpage from the University of Oregon includes bullets highlighting the impact of implicit bias on the evaluation of candidates and provides suggestions for minimizing the influence of bias.  The webpage also includes a 20 minute video showing how implicit bias informs our cognition and behavior, regardless of our level of education or a desire to be colorblind.


CEOs Who Are Diversity Champions

Although the corporate world is different from higher education, it is informative to read about leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to diversity and inclusion through visible support, accountability, and building a pipeline.  See below the attached PDF for the article from DiversityInc.

Social event, an outdoor potluck.

Date & Time: Friday, May 30, from 2:00-4:00 PM.

Where: Hayden Courtyard or 14E-304 if it is raining.

Location: DIRC, 14N-132

Date and Time: May 29th, 1pm

This webinar from Workplace Answers will help you:

  •  Develop strategies for reducing implicit bias
  •  Unlock skills for becoming aware of one's unconscious bias
  •  Tips and Techniques to immediately apply the material learned to your workplace

Find out how conscious and unconscious bias impacts our ability to lead and work effectively.

Toolbox for Team Empowerment
2 workshops lead by Leah Flynn Gallant

April 8, 10am to 12:00pm

April 24, 3-5pm

 W20 Coffeehouse


Speak Up Programming Workshop

 March 25, 2014 14E-304 from 2-3:15pm

Speak Up Programming Discussions

February 12, 2014 Stella Room, 7-338 from 3-4 pm

February 26, 2014 E25-401 from 3-4:20 pm

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FY 2013

Social Gathering

Wednesday, November 20, Room 14E-304, 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Join us to a Social Gathering for tea, coffee, and good conversation. come make connections with new colleagues and stregthen relationships with those you know well.  This is an open and informal event with no program or agenda.

Feel free to come and go as you please.

Take the survey

Would like to give feedback on our programming and response to ClimateQual?

Take the survey- ClimateQual Discussion Sessions

Monday October 28, Room 4-144

Thursday, October 31, Room 4-253

The Libraries’ Committee for the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion (CPDI) is committed to responding to the ClimateQUAL results from November 2012. While a majority of the results were neutral or positive, CPDI recognizes that improvements can be made in areas that relate to our committee’s charge, specifically race and ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

CPDI is hosting four discussion sessions for you to share your programming ideas for improving the working environment within the MIT Libraries as it relates to these specific areas. Please sign up for a session:

Tuesday 10/22 10:00 – 11:00 am in 4-253

Thursday 10/24 3:00 – 4:00 pm in 5-231

Monday 10/28 3:00 – 4:00 pm in 4-144

Thursday 10/31 10:00 – 11:00 am in 4-253

Please note that each discussion session will be capped at 12 participants, and all information we learn will be kept confidential.  You will be contacted with the room location for your session (in Bldg 4 or 5).  We look forward to talking to you soon!

MIT's Sloan School of Management has invited us to participate in either of two sessions by CSW Global.

Are diversity and inclusion initiatives still relevant for corporations during this challenging economic environment? This unique, drama-based interactive diversity education program provides participants the opportunity to examine and understand a broad set of diversity issues facing present and future business leaders. The program powerfully demonstrates the importance of diversity and inclusion in creating and sustaining competitive teams in order to meet the challenges of transformational changes facing the business world today. Come prepared to engage in a lively and thought-provoking discussion facilitated by expert CSW trainers using an approach that has received acclaim globally across many industries and academic institutions.

CSW Global, a leading global consulting firm on diversity, has established itself as an industry leader in training and consulting on workforce issues, and in particular global diversity and inclusion and cross-cultural awareness. It has teams in 11 countries and conducts hundreds of interactive workshops each year globally with leading organizations and many of the top ranked MBA programs worldwide.

Social event in 14E-304.

Along with conversation, we played and discussed the youtube video "Where are you from?"

Institute Diversity Summit 2013

Meritocracy and Inclusion at MIT: Principles or Practices?

January 30, 2013, 8:30am - 4:00pm

Videos Collection

Disabilities Services Awareness

Wednesday, June 26, 11 – 12, Room 4-145

We have a very knowledgeable and dynamic group of presenters:

  • Kathleen Monagle, Associate Dean, Student Disability Services
  • Mary Ziegler, IT Manager, Accessibility and Usability
  • Kathleen Cahill, Adaptive Technology Consultant
  • Greg Padilla, Access Services Associate, Hayden Library

Lessons Learned and Insights Gained: A Discussion of Diversity, Excellence and Institutional Knowledge with MIT Staff

Thursday, June 20, Room 46-3189, 12pm to 2pm

Panelists: Ken Hewitt, Mary Grenham, Eileen Ng, Michelle Coleman

Moderator: Alyce Johnson, HR, Manager of staff Diversity & Inclusion

Lunch is being provided!

Continuing the Dialogue: Meritocracy and Inclusive Employment, Room 10-250

Wednesday, May 29

10:30AM-12 noon

View of selected clips from the morning panel discussion from the Institute Diversity Summit 2013 followed by a presentation by guest speakers

Marianna Pierce, Director of Policy, Compliance, and Labor Relations and

Professor Emilio Castilla, Associate Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

12 noon - 1pm

Opportunity to network informally

Light refreshments will be provided!

Conversation about "Project Implicit"

Thursday, May 9, 2PM-3PM, E25-202

Friday, May 10, 11AM-12N, E25-202

We like to think of ourselves as more open-minded now than in the past when it comes to matters of race, geneder, ethnicity and disability.  We like to think that we do not judge others based on age, weight or looks.  But recent research in implicit social cognition suggests we are not as far along as we think.

Harvard Psychology professor Mahzarin Banaji is a leader in the field of implicit social cognition and studies “implicit biases,” which are “unconscious prejudices that persist even as our explicit attitudes evolve.” To help people understand their implicit biases, Banaji helped found "Project Implicit"

Light refreshments will be served!


Mahzarin Banaji – Harvard University:

Dr. Banaji’s website, which includes publications:

Book: Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People:

Tony Greenwald – University of Washington:

Website and publications:

Articles about race and the 2008 election:

Brian Nosek – University of Virginia:

Websites and publications:

 Other Resources:

MLK Jr. Breakfast Celebration Committee

The 39th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Illuminating the elements of Meritocracy"

Keynote Speaker: Paula Madison

Follow-up discussion "Serving Patrons on Autism Spectrum"

Tuesday, January 17, 2013:: 12 noon - 1pm

E25-401 Find it!

Light refreshments will be served!

This lunchtime discussion follows Nina Davis-Millis' presentation on January 8, 2013

The autism spectrum encompasses a wide range of strengths, needs, and abilities; nevertheless, certain cognitive, social, communication, and behavioral considerations frequently characterize individuals with autism. These considerations inevitably color our interactions at service points or in instructional settings. An understanding of these issues and sensitivity to these students’ experience may help us improve our ability to serve them, and may also help us develop the skills and compassion required to work with a population that can be challenging.

Serving Patrons on the Autism Spectrum

Increasing numbers of students on the autism spectrum are enrolling in post-secondary institutions due to a number of factors including changes in diagnostic protocols, the impact of early intervention services and greater ability to provide for a range of learning styles in many K-12 settings.

Please join us on Tuesday January 8 2013 from 3-4 pm in the DIRC, 14N-132, where our very own Nina Davis-Millis will present and lead a discussion of some challenges these members of our community face, and how we might tailor our services to address their needs. Nina’s session will provide an overview of current understandings of the autism spectrum with an emphasis on its impact on academically successful students.

The autism spectrum encompasses a wide range of strengths, needs, and abilities; nevertheless, certain cognitive, social, communication, and behavioral considerations frequently characterize individuals with autism. These considerations inevitably color our interactions at service points or in instructional settings. An understanding of these issues and sensitivity to these students’ experience may help us improve our ability to serve them, and may also help us develop the skills and compassion required to work with a population that can be challenging.

Please mark your calendars and join us: Tuesday January 8, 2013 from 3-4 pm in the DIRC. A follow-up discussion with light refreshments will take place on Thursday January 17, 2013 from 12-1 pm.

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FY 2012

All Staff Presentation: ClimateQUAL Launch

November 2012

A copy of this presentation is on our Documents page.

Inclusive Leadership: Creating and Sustaining Competitive Teams

Join us for an excellent workshop provided by CSW Global, a leading global consulting firm on diversity, is an industry leader in training and consulting on workforce issues, particularly global diversity and inclusion and cross-cultural awareness.

Wednesday, October 24

9:00am to Noon

Wong Auditorium, E51


The Libraries is co-sponsoring this program with 7 other MIT departments.  For the past three years, CSW Global has provided this workshop to the Sloan School‘s MBA Fellows, and this year we have scheduled a separate workshop for the rest of the Institute. 

This highly interactive diversity education program focuses on the importance of diversity and inclusion in creating and sustaining competitive teams to meet the changes facing us today. It addresses:

·    the need to develop the abilities of managers/leaders when managing diverse teams

·    the importance of engagement with employees to ensure the retention of talent the specific elements required to build a culture of inclusion

Art Munin - White Privilege 101

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10 AM - Noon

Bartos Theatre

Institute Diversity Summit

Friday, January 27, 2012

8 AM - 3:30 PM (Choose your sessions of interest)

10-250 and other locations

Are you interested in learning about and discussing how diversity and excellence go hand-in-hand? Come join us for the Institute Diversity Summit 2012 on Friday, January 27, 2012, co-sponsored by the Committee on Race and Diversity and the Council on Staff Diversity and Inclusion. The Summit--a colaboration among faculty, students, and staff--will be an opportunity to hear perspectives from various members of the MIT community, as well as leaders beyond MIT.  

Program Highlights

•   Keynote speaker: Evelynn Hammonds, PhD, Dean of Harvard College

•   Panel discussion on Diversity and Excellence facilitated by Prof. Emma Teng, with Prof. Lotte Bailyn, Prof. Edmund Bertschinger, Chancellor Eric Grimson, Prof. Wesley Harris

•   Break-out sessions on Implicit Bias; Effective Intercultural Communication at Work; MIT Dorm Directors Panel; Imposter Syndrome; and Transgender 101

This event offers us all the opportunity to engage in conversation and learn from each other. We hope to see you there!

Register Online and View the Schedule

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FY 2011





December 13, 2011


3-4 p.m.






December 16, 2011


12-1 p.m. *




 The Libraries' Committee on the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion is sponsoring two post-event discussions where you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts about the Micro-Messaging Workshops and perhaps share your own observations and experiences on the subject.  (If you haven't registered for a workshop, see the info in the next post.) These low-key, informal discussions have been popular and fruitful adjuncts to previous CPDI presentations, and we encourage you to join your colleagues for one of the scheduled sessions.

Calendar invitations have been sent for the follow-up sessions. If you haven't already replied, please RSVP now so that we can order refreshments.  Cookies and beverages provided at both.   * You are welcome to bring your lunch with you.




December 6, 2011


3-5 p.m.


Click here to sign up!




December 7, 2011


2-4 p.m.


All in W20-306




December 8, 2011


9-11 a.m.


(Twenty Chimneys)


*All three sessions are the same.

A coworker “listens” to you, but her eyes are on her computer screen—or perhaps she mispronounces your name.  In contrast, another coworker greets you every day and asks sincerely for your input on work projects.  These are examples of micro-messages, both positive and negative.

This workshop, based on research conducted by MIT’s Professor Mary Rowe and customized for the MIT Libraries, identifies the effects of these small and subtle messages.  We will explore practical and affirming communication skills that we can use to create a more productive and inclusive library environment for ourselves and our patrons. 

Light refreshments will be provided.

Increasing Diversity in Science and Engineering at the Graduate Level

MIT's Committee on Race and Diversity invites you to a lecture by Professor Keivan Stassun, the MLK Visiting Professor of Physics from Vanderbilt University.  Professor Stassun’s talk is entitled “Increasing Diversity in Science and Engineering at the Graduate Level: Lessons from the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program, and How MIT Can Change the Face of Tomorrow’s Faculty Leaders.”

Wednesday, November 30 from 2:00-3:00 PM in Room 6-120

Anita Hill at Radcliffe

Anita Hill speaks at Radcliffe in The 2011–2012 Maurine and Robert Rothschild Lecture
Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

In Search of a 21st Century Vision of Equality - Speaker Anita Hill

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 4:15 p.m.
Radcliffe Institute, Radcliffe Gymnasium, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge

In the News by Nikita Kanra, Harvard Crimson, November 18, 2011

Anita Hill looks back, and ahead by Colleen Walsh, Harvard Gazette, November 21, 2011

Briefing on religious diversity presented by the Tanenbaum Foundation

Monday, September 12, 2011
Noon – 1:30 pm
W20-306 (Twenty Chimneys)

All Staff Presentation: Introducing CPDI

May 2011

A copy of this presentation is on our Documents page.

Challenge to make eye contact
March 13-19, 2011

Have you ever walked by a colleague and been so absorbed in your thoughts or your destination that you neglected to say "hello?"  Do you see ALL of the people around you on the sidewalk, or do you tend to focus only on the people who are "like you?"  Don't worry if you answered yes; we all do these things sometimes. 

When it comes to being inclusive, though, acknowledging people around you is a good first step.  In this spirit, the Libraries Committee on the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion is issuing the following challenge:

During next week (March 13-19) make an effort to acknowledge anyone who comes within 10 feet of you.  Make eye contact with the person at the very least; offer a greeting or acknowledgment if you wish. 
* It is your choice whether to restrict this effort to the workplace/campus or to extend it throughout your daily activities. 
* It is your choice whether to try it for all 7 days or a shorter time period instead. 
* It is your choice whether you try it at all--but we hope you will, even for a short time.

Pay attention to how you are affected by these interactions.  Do they have an impact on your day?  Is this challenge hard or easy for you?  Then please join us in the Forris Jewett Moore Room (6-321) at 2pm on Tuesday, March 22 or Wednesday, March 23 to share your experiences.   Light refreshments will be provided.  We look forward to an interesting and eye-opening discussion!

You Don't Know Me Until You Know Me

In January 2011, the recently formed Libraries Committee on the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion, along with MIT’s Staff Council on Diversity and Inclusion,  co-sponsored the program “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me”.  In this entertaining and thought-provoking one-man show, performance artist Michael Fowlin slips in and out of numerous characters in order to share their stories – sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking – about prejudice and judgment.


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FY 2008


On October 21, 2008, the MIT Libraries welcomed thirty-one new or soon-to-be librarians to campus as part of the Harvard-MIT jointly-hosted program, “An Exploration in Academic Research Libraries in Cambridge”. The program provided guests from the ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce and the ALA Spectrum Scholar program with a glimpse into the everyday work of academic librarians and the exciting initiatives and opportunities that exist for them in serving dynamic teaching and research communities like MIT. This site provides information about the program – schedule, content and participant contact information – as well as links to various resources.

This program was the first of its kind and MIT staff would like to thank this impressive group for the level of interest, engagement, and enthusiasm that they brought to the program. As a result of our time together, we came away with a renewed sense of excitement about what we do and about the future of the profession.

Need to find the resources to link the following list
  • MIT Participant List
  • Program Tracks
  • Scholar Guest List
  • Track1 - Outreach, Collaboration and Instruction - 1.1 Puzzles Books and Games
  • Track1 - Outreach, Collaboration and Instruction - 1.2 NIH Author Study & Scholarly Communication