A series of forums examined how the inherent and occasionally difficult diversity of humans shapes their lives, their creativity, and the political and social context of their existence.

Titles include: The Fruits of Diversity, Diversity on the World Stage, Minorities in the United States, and Education in the United States

Read more at MIT News.

Fruits of Diversity

February 10, 7–9 pm
Media Lab Complex on the MIT Campus
Building E14, 6th floor
75 Amherst St, Cambridge

This panel celebrated the enrichment of language, architecture, visual arts, and music when diverse cultures come to know and appreciate one another.


  • Chair: Adèle Naudé Santos, Dean of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning
  • Elliot Bostwick Davis, John Moors Cabot Chair of the Art of the Americas Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)
  • Donal Fox, Artist, Music and Theater Arts Section; MLK Visiting Scholar, MIT
  • Walter Hood, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California


Diversity on the World Stage

February 17, 7–9 pm
Media Lab Complex on the MIT Campus
Building E14, 6th floor
75 Amherst St, Cambridge
This panel explored the competition among a handful of sovereign powers, the exploitation of peoples and global resources, the relevance of economic power, and the efficacy of international institutions created to mitigate conflicts. As we struggle to define a universal set of rights and modes of conduct, diverse peoples of the world take their cues from current global interactions and enter the world stage with their crafts, mores, and world views.


  • Chair:Bishwapriya Sanyal, Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning, MIT
  • Nazli Choucri, Professor of Political Science, Associate Director of the MIT Technology and Development Program, and Head of the Middle East Program at MIT
  • Geoffrey A. P. Groesbeck, Legatum Fellowships Programmes, Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT
  • Joanne Mariner, Director, Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program, Human Rights Watch


Minorities in the United States

February 24, 7-9 pm
Media Lab Complex on the MIT Campus
Building E14, 6th floor
75 Amherst St, Cambridge
The conversation examined social invention that is citizenship in America. While the law guarantees equality and protection of rights and opportunities, the underrepresented minority population of our imperfect melting pot continues to struggle for acceptance.

  • Chair: Willard R. Johnson, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, MIT
  • Melissa Nobles, Professor of Political Science, MIT
  • Christine Ortiz, Dean for Graduate Education MIT, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Emma J. Teng, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature, MIT


Education in the United States

March 17, 7–9 pm
Kirsch Auditorium
Stata Center, MIT Room 32-123
32 Vassar St, Cambridge
What is the fate of Americans left behind after creation of the minority professional middle class? The Civil Rights Movement encouraged major American universities, including MIT and Harvard, to recruit underrepresented minority students under terms that made their academic success probable. American educational institutions still pursue diversity in their faculty, staff, and students…but what of the poor (minority and others) who have not entered the education pipeline?

  • Chair: Evelyn Higginbotham, Professor of History and African American Studies, Harvard University
  • Sylvester Gates, Department of Physics, MLK Visiting Professor, MIT
  • Paula T. Hammond, Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT
  • Wesley L. Harris, Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Associate Provost for Faculty Equity