The Climate Committee is an initiative of the Northwestern University Philosophy Department. Its purpose is to (a) raise awareness of challenges faced by underrepresented and marginalized groups and (b) ensure that members of such groups are fully integrated into the Northwestern philosophy community.
From 2013-2015, I was chair of Climate Committee. Under my leadership, we formalized a statement of purpose and activities of the committee. This statement is the result of months of community discussion and debate, and was approved by the graduate students and endorsed by the faculty.
As chair of the Climate Committee, I worked to build an ethos of inclusiveness.
- One of the main functions of the Climate Committee is to host the annual Inclusiveness Lecture. The Inclusiveness Lecture is the first event of every academic year. It highlights scholarly work on issues related to inclusiveness in the discipline. The goal is to have a conversation about inclusiveness in Philosophy that is academically rigorous and gives us a vocabulary to frame our ongoing community discussion of inclusiveness. During my time on the Climate Committee, we brought in Rebecca Kukla, Sarah Jane Leslie, and Eduardo Mendieta as our speakers.
- In the process of codifying the community’s commitment to inclusiveness, I spent countless hours discussing and facilitating discussions about inclusiveness.
- I instituted a meeting with all prospective graduate students (held during admitted students week) where we as a committee communicated to incoming students our community’s commitment to inclusiveness.
- I organized a beginning of the year picnic to welcome new students (a tradition that continues today!).
- At regular intervals, I organized community discussions about issues in the department.