Diversity Week is a time to both celebrate and recommit to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment for the Harris Community. It is a time to reflect within and across all areas of public policy. This year, our focus is on the role of storytelling in public policy. Storytelling and public narratives play a large role in shaping public policy, how it is received by society, and implemented by all. 

Join the Harris Office of Diversity and Inclusion as we convene a week full of events led by Chicago experts, activists, artists, and our Harris Student Organizations, where we will learn how to understand our roles and others as policymakers and policy consumers.

How to Be a Storyteller, Not a Story Taker: The Ethics of Writing About War, Catastrophe, and Trauma

Monday, April 26, noon–1 p.m. CDT

As policy communicators it’s essential that we think critically about the frames we use to tell difficult stories. People can get lost in the data, and sensationalized narratives and other “clickbait” tactics deny our subjects their agency, oversimplify complexity, and flatten the story’s potential to impact the reader. During this workshop, we will create a framework we can use to avoid the most common challenges writers confront when communicating about crisis and instead tell stories accurately, ethically, and with the care such stories require.

Hosted by: Harris D&I Office and Harris Public Policy Writing Program

Diversity Dinner

Monday, April 26, 6–7 p.m. CDT

Sometimes smaller settings are better for sharing and learning, so join us for a virtual dinner to kick off Diversity Week 2021! This year, breakout sessions will be hosted by our identity-based Harris Student Organizations. Commit to engaging in conversations with your classmates, faculty, and staff on issues relating to the different communities represented. All participants will be assigned to a Dinner Table, so be sure to bring something delicious to eat. Sign up today and let's keep talking!

Hosted by: Harris D&I Office

Telling our Story Workshop with CDO

Tuesday, April 27, noon–1 p.m. CDT

Join the Harris Career Development Office (CDO) in collaboration with Minorities in Public Policy (MiPPS) during Diversity Week to discuss how to leverage your personal story in your professional development and career endeavors. Courtney Thompson and Alejandro Monroy-Velez will present on including your personal identity, culture, and experiences as you set yourself apart from other candidates.

Co-hosted by: Harris CDO Office and MiPPS

Community Impact through the Art of Drag

Tuesday, April 27, 6–7 p.m CDT

Miss Toto, Lucy Stoole, and Tatyana Chante are QTPOC Chicago-based performers, organizers, and political leaders that encapsulate what our local queer community is truly composed of. Hosted by the Harris student organization OUTPolitik, join us as each of these panelists share their unique story of valiant leadership and impact in Chicago's community. Their work speaks to the inequalities and challenges prevalent within our queer communities of color, providing insight on how to be a better ally and how to support and uplift marginalized QTPOC members in our community.

Hosted by: OUTPolitik

Folded Map™ Project Watch Party and Talkback with Tonika Lewis Johnson

Thursday, April 29, 6–7:30 p.m. CDT

Join us for a watch party and talk-back with photographer, visual artist and life-long resident of Chicago's South Side neighborhood, Englewood, Tonika Lewis Johnson. The Folded Map™ Project visually connects residents who live at corresponding addresses on the North and South Sides of Chicago, and investigates what urban segregation looks like and how it impacts Chicago residents. This video project is emblematic of how storytelling impacts public narrative, which in turn impacts public policy. We will begin with a viewing of the documentary, and follow up with a talkback, where participants will listen to a short discussion and then be able to engage in dialogue with Tonika. NOTE: The documentary is 32-minutes long.

Hosted by: Harris D&I Office

MiPPS Alumni Award Ceremony

Friday, April 30, 6–7:30 p.m. CDT

Minorities in Public Policy (MiPPS) is one of Harris’ oldest student organizations. This spring, we celebrate our 19th Alumni Award Ceremony, which has been hosted as a gala in the past. Due to COVID-19, this event will be virtual. This event serves to present the 2021 MiPPS Alumni Award to Ruby Mendenhall, PhD, MPP ‘94, and to bring the MiPPS student and alumni communities together for networking and community building. Dean Katherine Baicker will make remarks at the event and present the 2021 MiPPS Alumni Award.

Co-hosted by: Harris ARD Office and MiPPS