Our Sustainability Initiative team stands with community leaders, activists, organizations, and MIT leadership as we work collectively to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. We are steadfast in our commitment to educate ourselves, set and pursue ambitious goals, and share our progress as we do our bit to build a better world, and better MIT.
We see our contributions to this work in 4 phases, with our team now happy to share we are operating in "Phase 2" of our DEIJ action plan.
Phase 2 as of June 2023 | Additional phases to be added, as needed.
Phase 0 | Looking Inward (Completed): Amidst the turmoil of summer 2020, we looked inward, thought critically, and engaged in conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). Drawing on the insights and experiences of our community, we committed to dedicating our time and resources to embedding DEIJ into the fabric of our mission, and began brainstorming individually.
Phase 1 | Pilot Actions (Completed): During a special DEIJ "offsite" in fall 2020, our team came together to work through each pillar of our mission and identify initial actions we could take or amplify in the short term, while planning ahead for future phases. Below are the actions we completed between 2020 and 2021.
- Further integrated DEIJ topics in our S-Lab and Capstone courses: added a new "community impact" session in S-Lab with Professor Mariana Arcaya, incorporated new readings, brought out themes in existing curriculum including sessions on fisheries, good jobs, En-ROADS simulation, social state of the world, and supply chains.
- Included DEIJ topics in MIT Sloan Executive Education courses. Topics included: disproportionate impacts of air pollution on communities, corporate initiatives aimed at securing a just energy transition through jobs, economic mobility, and reduced energy burden.
- Worked to ensure diverse representation and topics in our co-curricular programming. Two out of four of our 2020/2021 Sustainability Lunch Series focussed on intersection of DEIJ and sustainability.
- Expanded our climate models and research to include environmental justice implications of climate change, and policies to address it. Research has been conducted on the co-benefits of deep energy retrofits in multi-family low income housing.
- Integrated existing and new research or concepts into the way we present our research. For the Climate Pathways Project, an emphasis on multi-solving with increased time in presentations on co-benefits of climate action on health, wealth, justice. For the Aggregate Confusion Project, identification of research opportunities around measurement challenges like: gender equity in the financial industry, corporate lobbying efforts that support/go against announced DEI goals. This includes a special piece written by Professor Roberto Rigobon published in MIT Sloan Management Review, "Rethinking Diversity Measures in the Finance Industry."
- Expanded access to and diversity of roundtable and networking events. With our bi-annual "Renewable Energy Finance Roundtable," this resulted in three out of four "challenge workshops" being DEIJ oriented, including: workforce development, sharing of environmental goods, and developing a strategic action plan to diversify energy investments.
- Applied a DEIJ lens to S-Lab host recruitment and projects. This included diversity of hosts, topics of projects, and the mission of companies/organizations. In spring semester 2021, we identified 9 potential projects, with 3 projects making it to our S-Lab course.
- Took a DEIJ lens to all Initiative marketing and communications. This resulted in: 6 DEIJ related pieces + 4 with the Office of Communications, representation of our diverse student body via profiles, updating of presentations + website, and elevation of DEIJ topics in newsletters and social media.
- Became a member of non-profit "Browning the Greenspace" with our Assistant Director sitting on their "Career" and "Communications" committees, offering support as they work to expand their mission to diversify the clean energy workforce.
- Sought targeted feedback from our alumni and students on our goals and existing programming. We launched this with the release of our 2020 Annual Report and drafting of this DEIJ Action Plan.
- Maintaining a detailed "DEIJ Progress Tracker," and meeting regularly with team to ensure accountability, both in weekly team meetings, and one-on-one check-ins.
- Participate and join MIT/MIT Sloan working groups to further advocate and push for DEIJ at MIT. As of 2022, two team members have joined and remain on two MIT Sloan DEI Working Groups: Staff Matters + Faculty Matters.
Phase 2 | Setting Goals + Tracking Efforts (Recently Launched): In phase two, we're continuing with our approach of embedding efforts under each bucket of our mission, experimenting with new ways to track our efforts and set goals, and identifying what our role can be in this space at MIT. Each team member has set goals that tackle both near and long term, more ambitious goals. During this phase, we'll begin to align our efforts with MIT Sloan's DEI goals and KPIs as they begin to be rolled out. Expect an update on goals and our longer term planning in July, 2022.
Phase 3 | Ongoing Learning + Improvement: By this phase, we'll be focussed on improving our efforts through continued learning and engagement, guided by key metrics and targets. Our work will be closely aligned and co-evolving with efforts at MIT, including emerging Sloan + MIT administration, student, staff, faculty, and alumni initiatives and targets. We'll be held accountable by engaging with our Advisory Board, students, alumni, and faculty/subject matter experts, in addition to report outs to our community.
More information and updates to come | Last Updated, 03/31/2022