Bridging Differences, an all-campus Tufts Initiative
Does this image seem familiar? (Read the text of the poster here). If you answered “Yes!,” then welcome aboard – and get ready to make an impact and create positive change.
Bridging Differences is an initiative led by the Office of the Provost at Tufts and spearheaded by Chief Diversity Officers Rob Mack and Joyce Sackey.
Bridging Differences (BD) aims to:
- Enable each member of the Tufts community to formulate mechanisms for leveraging differences through effective communication and dynamic programming
- Bridge the gaps that exist in our diverse community
- Harness the full spectrum of learning so that all students, faculty, and staff members at Tufts experience a sense of place and belonging
The pictures included here are print communications you would have seen at various libraries across the University: the Ginn Library outside the reading room, the Tisch Library outside the Tower Café, Hirsh Library, SMFA Campus Library, and the Webster Family Library on the Grafton Campus. They are one of the projects that the BD initiative undertook in 2018-19 to get the word out about the importance of diversity and inclusion, and to foster intellectual stimulation and the thoughtfulness required for engaging in inclusive conversations.
Based on recommendations from the BD committee, the availability of books at various libraries, and further research by Heather Barry, Associate Dean of the Institute of Global Leadership, a rich collection of books is housed near these communications. Each collection addresses how social, cultural, and political differences divide our society and how these differences can actually be leveraged to build an inclusive society through effective communication.
“The book displays in the libraries are an effort to begin introducing the campus to the themes and ideas behind Bridging Differences, as well as a start at getting members of the Tufts community engaged by providing readings to get them thinking.”
-Heather Barry, Associate Dean of the Institute of Global Leadership
The books in these collections have been carefully chosen to encourage readers to delve deeply into the sensitive topic of diversity and to brainstorm about: What causes differences? Do we have a control over our differences? How can the gaps be bridged? What is the outcome of a diverse yet inclusive society? Some of the books featured at the Ginn Library include Voices of resistance : Muslim women on war, faith & sexuality by Sarah Husain, The conscience of a Conservative by Barry M Goldwater (Barry Morris), and Justice and The politics of difference by Iris Marion Young.
If you are passionate about leading change in society and making it a better, more inclusive place, then grab your copy now and get involved in inclusive conversations with other community members. Please also join us at BD programs to discuss your thoughts so that we can we can start bridging gaps at Tufts. To learn more about the BD initative, take a look at this recent Tufts Now article or visit the Bridging Differences website.
Bridging Differences signage text
The text of the posters and signage on display in the libraries reads:
Our shared goal is to improve understanding and engagement across divergent perspectives at Tufts, through effective communication and programming. Our focus is on all members of our community—students, faculty, and staff, with an appreciation that lessons learned at Tufts can be applied in other contexts.
A core mission of Tufts is to develop students' skills to grapple with myriad ideas and engage in informed and civil discussion and debate on issues on which they may disagree profoundly. We succeed frequently, but we know we must work activley to do even better.
The Tufts Bridging Differences Initiative will highlight and support exciting work that our students, faculty, and staff are creating to bring people together in new ways.
Along with recognizing current work the initative will launch a funding program to develop and support current and new innovative initiatives that seek to engage members of the campus in dialogue, programming and other activities to increase understanding and interaction.