Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

The Shorenstein Center’s mission is rooted in our shared commitment to bolstering truth and trust within society. In our pursuit of maintaining a truthful, transparent and equitable information ecosystem, we strive to create this type of culture internally, as well. Though the topics of our work and research move quite rapidly and asynchronously, our values as an organization and within our greater community act as an anchor in this ever-moving environment. Openness, collaboration and participation are core aspects of our work — within our individual research programs and as an entire center. We gain strength from diversity and actively seek participation from those who enhance it.

For more information about the overarching DIB efforts at the Harvard Kennedy School, visit The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.


The Shorenstein Center coordinates a series of workshops for faculty, fellows and staff on how we can embed the values of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging into the work done in and around the center.

These workshops include:

December 1, 2021 

Inclusive practices for research and teaching: Practical tips to make your work more inclusive 

Our first workshop was held on December 1st 2021, on the topic of inclusive practices for research and teaching: practical tips to make your work more inclusive, especially for neurodiverse and disabled students and participants. This session was led by guest speaker Dr. Miranda Melcher from City, University of London. The workshop explored how to engage and encourage students in different kinds of teaching, as well as discuss research-relevant issues including improving inclusivity in hiring & recruitment, conference & paper calls, and panelist invitations.

The workshop discussed the importance of considering neurodiverse and disabled students and participants in higher education and academic research, introduced general principles for inclusive practices, and guided participants through a variety of examples. The research and practice behind this session combined pedagogical canon around the importance of structure and student engagement with clinical research on learning disabilities, practical teaching experience, and 1:1 work with neurodiverse participants.

December 14, 2021

Science of Communicating with Busy People Equitably and Effectively

Professor Todd Rogers led a workshop on the science of communicating with busy people equitably and effectively. We learned the science of writing so busy people will read and understand our messages. This is about being more effective, and more accessible. Everyone is busy. That’s why we skim our emails, texts, forms, and mail.

We learned the practical cognitive science of communication and the six principles it generates. In addition to increasing the effectiveness of our messages, these principles make our communications kinder by being more respectful of busy readers’ time. The session involved activities, polls, and interactivity.

December 15, 2021
Practical DIB feedback session

As we received such positive feedback about Dr. Melcher’s advice on inclusive research and teaching, we asked her to return for a one-hour follow-up session on Wednesday, December 15th at 10:30am.

In this session, we implemented inclusivity improvements into real Shorenstein documents and processes. Building on the December 1 workshop, when Dr. Melcher introduced a model for increasing the accessibility and inclusivity of our work for participants and applicants with disabilities and neurodiversities, this workshop dived deep into Shorenstein examples.

January 18, 2022
Receptive Conversations

In this interactive session, Professor Julia Minson discussed the latest behavioral science research on the psychology of disagreement and presented tools for having more receptive conversations with those we disagree with. As a group, we discussed the questions and challenges that arise when we try to disagree with grace, authenticity, and receptiveness.

February 9, 2022
Diversifying Fellowship Programs

This discussion exploreed how fellowship advisors can support young people interested in careers of international service. Ms. Bunmi Akinnusotu and Dr. Lily Lopez-McGee focused particular attention on advising for students from underrepresented groups and discussed strategies for presenting students with a range of internationally related fellowships and programs to help them evaluate and chart a course toward careers of international service.

February 17, 2022
Giving and Receiving Meaningful Feedback

Feedback conversations are the most powerful way to manage performance and motivate people. This session, led by executive coach Sharon Ruwart, introduced a research-backed framework for structuring feedback, steps on how to prepare and set up feedback conversations, and tips on how to navigate defensiveness, disengagement, and other derailers. Receiving feedback well, and coaching others to do so, was also covered.

March 31, 2022

Systemic Racism at Harvard: Self-Assessment and Personal Growth

Abstract: This workshop addressed the issue of systemic racism at Harvard by guiding participants through a series of exercises where we could self-assess the following: 

  • How does race impact our environments at Harvard?
  • What do we know about systemic racism, and where can we delve deeper?
  • How do we respond to racism?
  • How can we practice self-care?

Led by Dr. Ashlie Sandoval of Harvard’s Bok Center, this workshop engaged in self-reflection, mindfulness, and open-ended prompts that invited participants to consider how we can grow in anti-racist knowledge and practices related to our work at Harvard.

May 12, 2022

DIB Wrap-Up: Academic Year 2021/22

Abstract: In this one-hour session, we recapped the highlights and best practice recommendations from the DIB series of workshops this academic year. We reviewed the main takeaways from each workshop and then had a guided discussion with our first workshop speaker, Dr. Miranda Melcher. The second part of our session involved reflecting on what we liked and what can be improved about the series in the future. 


More workshops will be added soon, as well as any relevant resources. We’re currently planning sessions on the following topics:

  • Building diverse teams
  • Inclusive hiring and promotion practices

For more information, please contact Shorenstein’s Special Projects Coordinator, Anjuli Shere: anjulishere@hks.harvard.edu