HDS Vital Conversations

The Divinity School introduced a daylongconversation and presentation series duringincoming student orientation titled Vital Conversations, which focused on addressing racism and sexual and gender-based violence, and offered a continued series of community conversations throughout theyear with the same title, but touching on other aspects of diversity and inclusion.There were many events and programsorganized within the community, particularly by the student group HDS Racial Justice and Healing Initiative:

  • A conference on Buddhism and race.
  • A three-part series of dialogues on racialjustice called the REAL Dialogues.
  • Weekly affinity group meetings.
  • The Black Religions, Spirituality, and Culture conference.
  • Diversity and Explorations, a recruitment event where HDS brings in 45 students, who are usually from marginalized identity groups or are focused onsocial justice initiatives, to come and experience the School.


This touches on a range of initiatives, starting with orientation, when students have time to devote to learning about the valuesand the commitment of their School/community. HDS has created continuity and reinforced its commitment to difficult conversations by continuing programmingthroughout the year. Bringing studentsfrom marginalized communities to campusfor recruitment is a positive pipeline program.