We study the relationship between human diversity, development, and dignity in the United States and around the world. Our research aims to inform scholarship, policy and practice; and we seek to train future leaders and scholars through teaching, advising, and global outreach. Our work is motivated by the observation that increasingly diverse societies face both great challenges and opportunities:
- On the one hand, real and perceived differences of ethnicity, race, religion, and national origin continue to be the basis for bias, discrimination, and conflict. Ethnic minorities, immigrants, and refugees face hate speech, political exclusion, and violence.
- On the other hand, some of the world’s most productive organizations and societies identify diversity as core to their success. The mixing of people from around the world – and the sharing of art, culture, and ideas — is the hallmark of the world’s most prosperous urban centers.
Ultimately, in the face of diversity, different answers to the question of “who is us” will affect global responses to the world’s most pressing problems, including the climate emergency, epidemic threat, poverty, and insecurity.
At the MIT Global Diversity Lab, we intend to distill lessons about how to harness the value of diversity and to mitigate conflict through careful social science research, informed by work in a range of disciplines.