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November 2020 Newsletter

Welcome! from DEI Committee
members K'yal Bannister and
Emily Krucker Velasquez

We are excited to serve on the DEI Committee as Graduate Student Representatives of Diversity and Inclusion in Chemical Engineering (DICE). DICE was created in February with the goal of promoting equity and inclusion in Course X.

Since creating DICE, we have pursued a variety of initiatives: we hosted a discussion series on allyship and systemic racism where we engaged over 150 members of our community; we have worked with administration, IDHR and ICEO to implement unconscious bias training for incoming students; we run the ChAMP mentoring program to support students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in the MIT application process; we run a donation drive reaching pledges of over $9,000 for antiracism related causes.

DICE is always searching for additional avenues to provide support. As members of DICE, each bringing a unique identity and background, we believe it is our responsibility to help make Course X a more diverse, inclusive, equitable environment for everyone. 

Your DEI Committee members,
K'yal Bannister and Emily Krucker Velasquez


Program highlight

Diversity Series

On October 21st, the department co-hosted a Q&A with activist and scholar Angela Davis. The discussion was the launch of a diversity series presented by the departments of Chemical Engineering, Biological Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, based on recommendations from students.

Click here for a recap of the event on MIT News.

Other highlights


DICE Donation Drive


The DICE donation drive for anti-racism organizations is still going on! Contact Cynthia Ni ( to be a part of this initiative.


November 2-11

The recent MIT pulse survey indicated 50% of students felt isolated and that 70% felt overwhelmed. A committee of students and staff came together to talk about ways in which we could literally - REBOOT.

MIT Reboot is a time to recharge and take a break. We are inviting students, staff and faculty to find moments to refresh and enjoy one of the many events being held.

Find events at


Diversity, Inc: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business

November 5th, 2-3pm
Join the Department of AeroAstro for a talk with Pamela Newkirk, Professor of Journalism at New York University and author of Diversity, Inc: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business. For more info, contact Denise Phillips.
Visit the MIT ChemE DEI webpage for more information on our strategy, initiatives, and goals.

We want to hear from you

Do you have questions or comments about diversity, inclusion, and equality in the department, MIT, or in general? Let us know.

Reading Discussion on Gender Bias in Academic Settings

November 9th, 5-6pm
RSVP here

Women in Chemistry (WIC), Graduate Womxn in ChemE (GWiChE), MechE Graduate Association of Women (MEGAWomen), Graduate Women in Aerospace Engineering (GWAE), and the Reject Injustice through Student Empowerment (RISE) campaign invite ALL community members (male-identifying included!) to attend.

The group will be reading “The MechE qualifying exam fails women,” an op-ed published through RISE, and the MechE department’s response to the piece. For more info, contact Maddie Dery.


Seeking Nominations:

MIT MLK Leadership Awards
Deadline Nov. 30, 2020

In this exceptionally difficult year, many people across MIT are making exceptional efforts on behalf of our community. You are urged to nominate those who inspire and energize you—whether they are students, alumni, staff or faculty, pursuing their work as individuals or groups. Submit your nomination here.



Various through November 2020

The Institute Community and Equity Office is hosting three events this month. They can be registered for by accessing:


Creating Space for Balance: Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science — Two-Eyed Seeing — in Environmental Justice and Media
Thursday, Nov. 5 @ 5pm

ICEO Community Dialogues - Hiding in Plain Sight

Monday, Nov. 9 @ 12pm - 1:30pm

MLK Visiting Scholar Luncheon: Thomas Searles, PhD on "Vibranium-like" Materials
Thursday, Nov. 12 @ 12pm


Department of Chemical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
25 Ames Street, Building 66
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
tel: 617.253.4561

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