Through annual signature programs and initiatives, Harris is committed to fostering inclusive and thought-provoking opportunities for the entire Harris community, including students, prospective students, faculty, staff, and alumni, to engage in meaningful dialogue about issues of race, equity, and inclusion in our communities and society.

Diversity Day

Diversity Day is hosted each year for talented underrepresented individuals to get to know the Harris School of Public Policy and its community, and each other.

The Common Read

The Common Read is an initiative that aims to build a shared experience with classmates and create community at Harris. Each year, the Common Read is carefully selected by our Orientation Staff and the Harris Diversity & Inclusion office. The Common Read is rooted in the belief that it is essential that future policymakers be given the opportunity to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of people who have been marginalized and explore related policy questions.

The main goal is simple – to have all incoming students collectively share in a single learning experience while gaining an appreciation for diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and individual stories that not only impacts how we work together as classmates, but how we view the world as future policymakers.

2020 Common Read

The 2020 Common Read is What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. A riveting account of the Flint water crisis, What the Eyes Don’t See reveals how misguided policies and bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk.

Students will be provided with access to an electronic version of the book. If you require a physical copy, please email

Previous Common Reads


“Just Mercy,” 2019-2020 Common Read, Sparks Conversations on Race, Injustice

In a tradition begun by Harris students, Common Read confronts issues of diversity, inclusion, and public policy.

Black History Month

Harris is proud to host several events in honor of Black History Month. The series convenes prominent speakers, activists, practitioners, community members, and University of Chicago alumni, faculty, students, and staff.

The events seek to facilitate meaningful conversations about the Black experience in higher education and the fight for equality and social justice, and to highlight the policy contributions made by Black policymakers, thinkers, and activists.

Events from Black History Month 2020

Thank you for joining us for Black History Month 2020. Check back for updates as we plan for Black History Month 2021.

Explore our news coverage on the events and discussions from Black History Month 2020.

The Organization of Black Students presents the Annual George E. Kent Lecture with Nikki Giovanni

Thursday, February 6, 2020
6:30 pm
The Keller Center, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

This event is hosted in partnership with the Harris School of Public Policy.

Event details

Harris Policy Forum featuring Valerie B. Jarrett & Helene D. Gayle, moderated by Dean Katherine Baicker

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
6:00 pm
Chicago Cultural Center

Event details

Reflecting on the Contributions of Black Movements Around the World

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
6:00 pm
The Keller Center, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

This event is hosted in partnership with the UChicago Association of Black Alumni (UCABA) and Global Strategists Association.

Event details

An Evening with Mikki Kendall,author of Hood Feminism

Thursday, February 27, 2020
5:30 pm
The Keller Center, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

Event details