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The Belonging Project

Belonging is the next dimension of DEI, focusing not only on what we do to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion but on how those efforts impact individuals. sense of belonging lets people engage in their work with confidence and creativity – a foundation for excellence by any measure.

Fostering belonging in a community requires offering opportunities for people to be heard, seen, and recognized for their contributions. In 2022, Emory University was a recipient of the HEED Excellence in Diversity Award in recognition of the way that “diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.” 

As of Fall 2024, the Department of Chemistry has woven inclusion into their daily work through an effort we call “The Belonging Project.” The Belonging Project focuses on applying evidence-based inclusive meeting practices to chemistry committee meetings. Optimizing meeting practices and improving communication is essential to our department’s pursuit of excellence in research and teaching. Inclusive meeting practices allow everyone to contribute at the highest level. A key aspect of this work is the engagement of student representatives on all committees via the Student Advocacy for Full Engagement (SAFE) and our annual town hall.

The guiding hypothesis of The Belonging Project is that better meetings will act as a catalyst for a larger cultural shift in belonging. We are committed to exploring together how shared practice can be the catalyst for expanding our existing commitment to a fully engaged chemistry community at Emory.