Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Diversity Events

Community Conversations

The Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity celebrates Heller’s multicultural diversity through various events such as Africa Night, International Mother Language Day, Asian Night, and other artistic and cultural activities. We also observe the major national and international months and days through social events and awareness programs, and host various dialogues across difference. Interested in collaborating on an event? Complete the Request for Collaboration with Heller's Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (EID) Office form.

The Sankofa Community Conversations serve as the foundation for these contemporary conversations on cultural, identity, and relevant social topics. In 2017, the school launched the Sankofa Community Conversations, a series of semi-structured events and community conversations to promote dialogue across our silos. The spirit of the conversations respects the Ghanaian (Twi) concept of remembering the past to prepare for the future. The series grew out of the idea that new members to the community bump into Heller’s Ford Hall history. Sankofa Community Conversations are intended to provide an opportunity for frank, intimate conversations. We hope everyone will continue to join in on this effort, eventually becoming change agents and bridges across our silos.

Past Events

Series: Conversations on Equity and Justice

March 2023

Discussion with Freada Kapor Klein, PhD'84, and Mitch Kapor, facilitated by Interim Dean Madison. This event explored how Freada and Mitch are changing the world through impact investing and expanding opportunity and diversity. Freada and Mitch are founding partners at Kapor Capital and co-chairs of the nonprofit Kapor Center in Oakland, CA, and coauthors of "CLOSING THE EQUITY GAP: Creating Wealth and Fostering Justice in Startup Investing."

Heller Multicultural Night

March 2023

Celebration and recognition of Heller's diverse student body. Included cultural festivities such as dances, music, cultural clothing, and international cuisine.

Myanmar Film Screening

March 2023

A hybrid film about life under the regime of terror in Myanmar in the aftermath of its military coup of Febrary 1st, 2021, told through personal stories by a group of anonymous young Burmese filmmakers.

Series: Conversations on Equity and Justice

March 2023

Discussion on reproductive freedom with women's rights attorney and activist, Julie F. Kay, in conversation with Interim Dean Madison on International Women's Day. Attorney Julie F. Kay is an expert on women's human rights domestically and internationally. Her initiatives increase support for access to reproductive rights and religious freedom, advance gender equality and work to prevent family violence and promote women's economic security.

Series: Conversations on Equity and Justice

February 2023

Engaging conversation about the success of the Civil Rights Movement and its contemporary impact locally & internationally with accomplished community organizer, human rights activist, author, and the co-founder of the Hill Country Project, Dr. Roy DeBerry. Powerful testimonies of Benton County, Mississippi residents and their extraordinary courage to fight for justice from the book 'Voices from the Mississippi Hill Country' were shared. Discussion of the legacies of segregation, human rights, and one community’s journey for freedom. DeBerry co-hosts the "Dad Daughter Dialogues" podcast. DeBerry is also a Brandeis Alum who led the 1969 Ford Hall takeover protesting the campus racial climate.

Racial Equity Action Challenge at Heller (REACH)

November 2022

REACH is an intensive weekend challenge that allows for the focused dedication of participants to address racial equity issues within our communities through innovation and action. Supported by a team of mentors and advisors, participants will work to create workable solutions that address the racial disparities they have witnessed in our communities at Heller and beyond. Learn more about the 2022 winning student-led teams' proposals.

Series: Conversations on Equity and Justice

October 2022

An engaging dialogue with Carol Anderson, PhD, about the pursuit of racial equity, the barriers to achieving it, and the preservation of human rights in the face of obstruction. We explored the historical legacies of racism, examples of resilience and progress, and avenues to chart a way forward. Dr. Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and the 2022 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize.

Book Discussion Group: The Black Agenda

March & April 2022

Heller students, faculty, and staff joined Dr. Maria Madison for a two-part book discussion of "The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System". These conversations provided an opportunity to explore topics such as climate impacts, health, and technology.

What is Therapy?

March 2022

Heller Community Therapist, Roxann Mascoll, held an open dialogue about therapy for Heller students; What therapy is, why people go, what happens in a therapy session, and more.

Women's History Month 'Wall of Fame'

March 2022

In honor of Women's History Month the Heller Student Association and the Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity introduced the 'Women's Hall of Fame' - A community wall to honor the insightful, supportive, change-making women in our world, communities, personal or professional lives.

Self-Care Social Justice

March 2022

On Wednesday, March 2, we partnered with Radical Joy, Inc. to offer a self-care workshop for students in the Heller community. This workshop centered on self-care as social justice.

Black History Month Film Screening: Summer of Soul

February 2022

On Thursday, February 17, the Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity; The Brandeis Intercultural Center; and the Institute for Economic and Racial Equity co-hosted a screening of the acclaimed documentary "Summer of Soul".

The Color of Jews: Dilemmas of Diversity, Inclusion and the Management of Difference

February 2022

Co-hosted by the Heller Office or Equity, Inclusion and Diversity; and the Brandeis Intercultural Center, this workshop explored some of the contentious meeting points between diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) discourse and the Jewish context.

Managing “Distance” at the International Criminal Court

February 2022

Co-hosted by the Heller COEX Program and the Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, this event brought together an array of International Criminal Court staff members who work or worked as investigators, trial lawyers, victims’ advocates, judges assistants and more to reflect on managing the “distance” between themselves and the populations they work on behalf of.

Ford Hall 2015: Protest and Advocacy

February 2022

On Tuesday, February 8, the Heller EID Office held a screening of the 'Ford Hall' short film (directed and edited by Brandeis Alum, Kwesi Jones '21) followed by a discussion of Ford Hall's legacy. 

Navigating Higher Education as a BIPOC Student: Panel Discussion

January 2022

On Wednesday, January 26, Heller students, faculty, staff, and alumni joined student leaders and Professors Joseph K. Assan, Maria Madison, Alexandra Piñeros Shields, and Rajesh Sampath for a student-led conversation about mentorship and navigating higher education as a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Student.

7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge with Dr. Alan Mueller

January 2022

On Monday, January 10 and Tuesday, January 11, Heller staff, faculty, students, and alumni attended the 7-Day Anti-Racism Challenge Workshop where they explored: The meaning of ‘race’ and ‘racism’; how overt racism appears in our language, symbols, and messaging; and where race and colonization intersect with gender and other identities.

Sankofa Community Conversation and Racial Literacy Workshop with Dr. Howard C. Stevenson

November 2021

On November 19, Heller community members participated in a conversation and interactive racial literacy workshop, with Dr. Howard C. Stevenson, a nationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher of racial stress and trauma, and the 2020 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize.

Racial Literacy Workshop

November 2021

This student-led workshop welcomed all folks interested in learning more about racial literacy as a tool for self-care. Participants reviewed definitions, psychology concepts, and racial literacy as defined by Dr. Howard C. Stevenson, along with coping models he developed.

27th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

July 2021

The Heller Office of Equity, Inclusion & Diversity co-hosted this student-led event commemorating the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Survivors shared their testimonies, and academicians discussed how to address genocide denial and prevent future genocides.

Racial Equity Action Challenge @ Heller (REACH)

June 2021

On June 5-6, the Heller School hosted its first Racial Equity Action Challenge at Heller (REACH), dedicated to creating actionable initiatives to address racial disparities at Heller and Brandeis and the local community.

Neurodiversity Inclusion Challenge

April 2021

The 7-Day Neurodiversity (ND) Inclusion Challenge is a self-guided learning and reflection experience that highlights the need for true inclusion and acceptance, in the Brandeis community and beyond, of those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and other neurological disabilities.

Dreisen Heath and Peter Dixon

"Slavery, Structural Racism and the Struggle for Reparations in the U.S.," with Dreisen Heath and Peter Dixon

March 2021

This talk provided an update on the latest from the movement for establishing reparations for Black people and set it in an international context vis-à-vis other countries where the struggle for reparative justice has played out.

Eddie Moore, Jr.

A Conversation with Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr.: Brandeis 21-Day Equity Challenge for a More Inclusive Community

March 2021

On March 16, 2021 three Brandeis graduate schools welcomed Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and esteemed panelists to discuss the roots of the 21-Day Challenge and its significance in this moment of escalated hate crimes - including anti-Asian hate crimes - and racial reckoning.


The 21-Day Challenge at Heller

January 2021

In January 2021, the Heller community embarked on Dr. Eddie Moore’s 21-day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. Students signed up for a proseminar course called “Racial Equity: Intersections of Race, Power, Privilege, Supremacy and Oppression,” which centered around Dr. Moore’s work while integrating lectures from Heller faculty. Students who did not sign up for the course also participated at their own pace along with Heller faculty, staff and alumni.

Heller Community Reading for Social Justice: Teach-In with Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

October 2020

As part of our community reading of “From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation,” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Heller's Sankofa Conversations presented a community-wide anti-racism conversation on Oct. 1, 2020.

"Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired": A Conversation on Anti-Racism and Equity Momentum in America

July 2020

A cross-disciplinary discussion on racism as a public health and economic crisis, with a focus on action.

Slide saying "Sankofa Community Conference: Advancing Racial Justice Through Life and Work

Sankofa Community Conference: Co-Constructing Racial Justice through Life and Work

June 2020

On June 2 and 3, 2020, the Heller School held its first Sankofa Community Conference, “Advancing Racial Justice Through Life and Work,” with more than 500 participants over two days.

Videos and resources from the conference available here.

Alex Montgomery, MPP'17

“What happens when we forget?” Commemorating Ford Hall 2015

January 2020

Heller’s Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (EID) organized a two-part event January 21-22 called Ford Hall: Closing the Disparity Gap, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Ford Hall 2015 protests.

Ajai Scott, MBA/MA SID'19; Jarrod Chin; and Elon Cook

“Who’s at the Table?” The second Sankofa Community Conversation tackles diversity, equity and inclusion

January 2018

The second Sankofa Community Conversations event on Jan. 17 brought together leaders in the fight against inequality locally and globally.
Mel King with Christian Perry, MBA/MA SID'17

First Sankofa Community Conversation Welcomes Mel King to Heller

December 2017

The Heller School welcomed a panel discussion of social justice and change, featuring activist and academic Mel King as well as Christian Perry, MBA/MA SID'17.