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The Apolitical Passivity of “Inclusion”

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Students returning to Harvard this fall may encounter the Office for Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging, whose mission is to “catalyze, convene, and build capacity for equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism initiatives .” They might wonder at the difference between “catalyzing” and “convening”; they might ask how much equity you could catalyze just by cutting tuition.

“Inclusion” is usually defined as the way you get “diversity,” the concept to which it’s habitually bound. If diversity is a quantifiable metric—of the racial breakdown of a given workplace, for example—“inclusion” is how you put it into practice. As a McKinsey report puts it, inclusion helps to ensure “accountability among managers, equality and fairness of opportunity, and openness and freedom from bias and discrimination.” The airy academic sincerity of the Harvard office’s mission statement and the........

© New Republic

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