Equity and Opportunity

Poster design graphic in purple and magenta, with two arrows pointing in opposite directions

Harvard Radcliffe Institute’s work is shaped by its history as the former Radcliffe College, which was founded to ensure that the high standard of education at Harvard was also accessible to women who were then excluded from the University.

A dedication to equity and opportunity has informed Radcliffe’s work since its inception. This principle is reflected in the Institute’s founding commitment to women, gender, and society and in the Harvard Radcliffe Institute’s continuing engagement with issues affecting historically marginalized communities more broadly. Over time, the Institute has built a reputation for supporting research and inquiry into the forces that shape the lives of people facing chronic inequity and discrimination.

Explore several strands of our work below:

  1. Archival Resources
  2. Research Support
  3. Public Programming

Archival Resources

The vast holdings of Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America are accessible to researchers inside and beyond Harvard University. Among these holdings are many collections that reflect the lived experiences and activism of individuals who worked to advance equity and opportunity, including the fully digitized Black Women Oral History Project Interviews, 1976–1981.

Other examples include the collections of:

Research Support

Harvard Radcliffe Institute invests in the work of leading scholars, public intellectuals, and practitioners focused on equity and opportunity through its Fellowship Program. Radcliffe also sponsors private multidisciplinary seminars led by Harvard- and Radcliffe-affiliated scholars to launch and support important research agendas. Each seminar convenes 10–15 scholars and practitioners from around the world to advance their work in a collaborative setting.

Awarded fellowships include:

  • Margot Canaday, Princeton University Perverse Ambitions, Deviant Careers: A Queer History of the American Workplace, 1900–2000
  • John Kuumuori Ganle, University of Ghana Disability and Reproduction in Africa
  • Jarvis R. Givens, Harvard Graduate School of EducationThe American School in Red, White, and Black
  • Neal Hovelmeier, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa) Approaching the Psychology of Sexual Identity Politics in the Postcolonial Arena
  • Every Ocean Hughes, Queer Death: A Theater of Unsolved Problems
  • Camara Phyllis Jones, Morehouse School of Medicine Tools for a National Campaign against Racism
  • Ibram X. Kendi, Boston University, Bones of Inequity: A Narrative History of Racist Policies in America
  • Jonathan Lazar, Towson University, Locked Out: Investigating Societal Discrimination against People with Disabilities Due to Inaccessible Websites
  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Harvard Kennedy School, Lessons Learned from 50 Years of Civil Rights and Wrongs
  • Christopher Shinn, The New School, A play investigating the history of disability representation in the theater 
  • Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Emory University, Habitable Worlds: Eugenic Spaces and Democratic Spaces

Select research seminars in recent years include:

  • Racism, Trauma & School Pushout: Transforming School Cultures for Equity & Student Success
  • Accessible Technology and the Developing World
  • Bioethics in Action: Developing Disability Cultural Competence
  • American Indian/Alaskan Native Binge Drinking: Reviewing Treatment and Developing Collaborative Research Methodologies to Measure Outcomes
  • What is the Future of Native Radio? Local Narratives, Networking Communities
  • Indigenous Peoples, Gender Justice, and Legal Pluralism in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala
  • How Can the History of African American Girlhood Inform Policy Research and Vice Versa?
  • What Works to Reduce Discrimination?
  • Archival Imaginings and the History of Black Education in the U.S.
  • The University, Indigenous Dispossession, and the Question of Reparations
  • Exploring the Path to Partnership for Academic Health Centers and American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
  • Building Indigenous Higher Education: Establishing Processes and Frameworks for Universities

In addition, the Harvard Radcliffe Institute awards grants to undergraduate and graduate students at Harvard who are pursuing research, service, and creative projects in fields related to equity and opportunity, including law, education, and justice; youth leadership, and Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery

Public Programming

Harvard Radcliffe Institute reaches national and international audiences through its public programming. Radcliffe supports vital conversations—from small group gatherings to major public conferences—that create productive dialogue around difficult and complex issues, advancing discourse on topics related to equity and opportunity.

Recent programs include: