I anchor my work in excellence, integrity, collaboration, and curiosity;
I act ethically and in service to the betterment of society;
I respect the dignity and capability of all people;
I acknowledge my biases and learn from those who have experiences different from my own;
I confront racist, sexist, and exclusionist behaviors in my own actions and those of others;
I commit to dismantling exclusionist ideas and structures in my spheres of influence;
And I commit to instilling and cultivating these values in my personal and professional circles.
As we embrace and apply these values in our daily lives, we will be able to collectively create an environment of cooperation, inquiry, and mutual respect, thus advancing a shared commitment to education, diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and professional excellence.
- Academic Excellence and Scientific Inquiry: As a premier educational and research program, we value curiosity, innovation, perseverance, and the scientific method. We strive for excellence and professionalism in our work as we seek to ethically address global challenges. To do so, we apply our collective knowledge, expertise, resources, and understanding of social and historical contexts, and commit to supporting our community members holistically as they take on these endeavors.
- Collaboration and Mentorship: We foster collaboration within and outside of the MechE community by respecting others’ ideas, appropriately acknowledging their contributions, and willingly sharing our knowledge and skills. We also acknowledge that strong mentorship is essential to individual and collective success, and commit time to honing these skills and building supportive and productive mentoring relationships.
- Respect, Integrity and Accountability: By demonstrating esteem and appreciation towards others and ourselves, we create an inclusive and supportive environment. This enables us to uphold MIT’s high standards of honesty, fairness, respect, integrity and accountability (M&H 20-21). We commit to conducting our work honestly and ethically, and using our privilege and leadership positions to amplify the voices of those who are underrepresented in MechE and other professional STEM spaces. We will hold ourselves and others accountable to our shared values, while recognizing that this is an ongoing process of learning and building self-awareness. Practicing personal competencies (listed below) as an integral part of our daily educational and research efforts will enable MechE community members to attain this goal.
- Embracing Diversity: Diversity in academia is the cultivation and holistic support of talented people of various identities, including race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, age, physical and language abilities, class, culture, religion, and sexual orientation. In addition to ensuring structural diversity, we cultivate a culture that views diversity as an advantageous necessity in our mission to solve global challenges.
- Establishing Equity: The goal of equity is to ensure fair treatment. It differs from the principle of equality in that equality affords everyone the same treatment, while the principle of equity acknowledges existing inequalities and adjusts and tailors resources to afford everyone equal opportunity. We acknowledge the pervasive inequalities perpetuated by racism, sexism, ableism, and other exclusionary societal structures in the United States and abroad, and recognize that certain members of our community and applicants to our program face unique challenges and obstacles based on their identities. We commit to uprooting inequitable practices that, in concert, hinder the success of everyone in our community. Finally, we measure equity based on outcome rather than intent. If a policy, program, activity, building or other physical structure contributes to inequities, then it is unjust and must be modified to ensure all members of the community can thrive.
- Fostering Inclusion: Inclusion goes beyond tolerance and acceptance to build a culture of belonging that actively invites participation and equally values the voices of all community members. Such an environment enables each member of our community to reach their full potential and upholds MIT’s commitment to equal opportunity in education and employment (M&H 20-21).
- Safety and Wellness: In order for our community members to thrive, we must create and maintain a safe working and learning environment that prioritizes wellness. Our daily functions must encourage and support community members in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes physical, mental, emotional, and social health (M&H 20-21). This means fostering a culture that prioritizes individuals’ health over productivity, and by providing access to support systems for working through life’s challenges. In other words, we treat each other as people who work, as opposed to workers who are people. We further acknowledge that underrepresented groups in MechE face unique challenges, and in some cases threats to their wellbeing, that must be accounted for when providing support systems that promote safety and wellness both on and off campus.
- Responsible Impact: We aim to confront global challenges with creativity, passion, and academic rigor to create solutions with lasting and responsible global impact. Furthermore, we commit to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in professional and educational spaces beyond our community, particularly where we hold leadership roles or positions of influence. In doing so, we strive for personal, professional, and communal improvement. MechE, as a whole, will also use its position as a world-class program to lead by example and encourage our peer institutions to uphold similar values.
Understanding of how class, culture, physical and language ability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, age, religion, and sexual orientation shape the environments in which we live and work, affect each of our personal identities, and impact the lives and opportunities of those in our community.
Seeking Resources to understand our own cultural identities, personal blindspots, and biases and take the next steps in our identity development and leadership journeys.
Analytical Skills to understand the implications of research and appreciate multiple points of view through active and careful listening; to be willing to confront views that impede or counter diversity, equity, and inclusion while honoring the dignity of those holding them.
Professional Skills to be able to enter any organization, read and interpret the current dynamics, help the organization identify the next developmental steps towards being an organization with a clear vision of equity and social justice and mobilize for improvement; to be able to respectfully engage across differences while holding difficult conversations and creating a climate for learning about equity and inequality.
Vision of how our individual roles can promote equity in all professional settings while encouraging an environment of resource sharing, learning, teaching, and decision making.
Courage, Commitment, and Persistence to act on all of the above, to be transformative change agents, and to develop networks and support structures that sustain us in this work.