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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.

Our guiding hypothesis is that better meetings will act as a catalyst for a larger cultural shift in belonging. To measure this intended impact, we have engaged an external consulting firm, Reflecting Equity, to assess belonging, across all stakeholder groups, as it relates to the implementation of inclusive meeting practices in our meeting spaces. This assessment is ongoing.