Johns Hopkins has been grappling with issues of diversity since its founding by an abolitionist, just 11 years after the end of the Civil War, in a city 30 miles south of the Mason-Dixon Line. While the university has made notable strides, they have been in fits and starts, and have often lacked long-range planning or mechanisms to track progress. In fall 2015, as protests over issues of diversity and inclusion erupted at universities across the country, students at JHU, led by the Black Student Union, joined in solidarity and raised their concerns about diversity at Hopkins. By then the university had developed significant programs to foster diversity, but the students’ protests highlighted the need to set out a clear, accountable way forward.
The resulting dialogue led to the creation of the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion. The 86-page document was created to capture the university’s priorities and ambitions related to diversity and to state in explicit and concrete terms the institution’s commitments. Hundreds of members of the university community offered ideas, critiques, and feedback on a draft released in February 2016, and the board of trustees endorsed the final, revised version in October 2016.
The Roadmap provides a discussion of the university’s principles, outlines numerous existing activities and programs, and highlights new initiatives. It explores diversity in the areas of faculty, students, staff, education, climate, culture and community, and engaging with Baltimore. It pertains to all Johns Hopkins divisions and campuses, and it plays a role in holding the institution accountable by identifying objectives against which progress can be measured with surveys, data collection, periodic reports, and community discussions.