Diversity and Inclusion

The Mission of D&I at The Crimson

One of the core tenets of The Crimson’s mission is to represent a diverse community with our own staff and our coverage. For decades, countless Crimeds have dedicated themselves to improving diversity and inclusion at The Crimson, but we recognize that we as an organization have not done enough to support marginalized communities on our staff and at Harvard College, especially Black and Latinx students. As the nation’s oldest continuously published college daily, we also recognize our role as a training ground for the next generation of journalists and the impact we can have on diversifying the industry going forward.

Our Diversity & Inclusivity Committee has led our efforts to do better in this regard since it was formed in 2015. The committee serves three primary functions. We are a forum for staff members of all boards, guards, and backgrounds to voice concerns or ideas related to diversity and inclusivity in the building. The Diversity & Inclusivity Committee works to transform those ideas and concerns into programs, policies, and initiatives to improve student life, and an advisory body for the President on these issues. And finally, act as student resources in and of ourselves — people that other staff members can reach out to for advice on — or to discuss matters relevant to themselves and their work at The Crimson.

If one has any inquires or concerns they may reach out to the Diversity & Inclusivity Chairs at diversity.inclusivity@thecrimson.com

The Role of the D&I Chairs

Each year, The Crimson elects two Diversity & Inclusion Chairs to the Executive Board. The chairs facilitate the D&I committee as a forum to discuss issues and brainstorm solutions; lead proactive building-wide initiatives related to diversity; and work to recruit, and include a diverse staff.

Task Forces & Initiatives

The D&I committee has formed a number of task forces in the past to examine what we can do to improve the culture of the newspaper. Current initiatives include:

Pre-Professional Development Task Force 

This task force will focus on making sure that all Crimeds are given the opportunities to explore and prepare for what a career in journalism looks like. The responsibilities of this task force include sending out newsletters highlighting relevant internships and fellowships, organizing roundtables with professional journalists, and hosting events like free-headshots days. Although the focus is on journalism, this task force will provide resources useful to those going into other careers as well, drawing on our 4,000-strong alumni body.

Comp Outreach Task Force 

This task force centers around our recruitment and training processes (“comp”), focusing on reaching Harvard College students from all across campus and then inviting them to 14 Plympton St. The overarching goal for this taskforce is to make The Crimson’s staff more reflective of campus demographics.

Workflow Sustainability Task Force 

This task force will focus on gathering information from alumni/dinos then current Crimeds about how much time they spend on the Crimson, workflow issues, and overall mental health at the 14p. This feedback will then be used to workshop and form a policy change recommendation by the end of 2023. This recommendation will lay down a foundation for future guards to operate in a more sustainable fashion when it comes to workflow and leadership structure, while starting a broader, more prominent dialogue about mental health.

D&I Representatives 

The D&I Chairs, alongside The Crimson’s President, select one to three representatives for each of our 12 boards. These representatives are responsible for monitoring the social climate on their boards and promoting any new D&I initiatives.

D&I representatives have the opportunity to lead task forces, and do monumental, hands-on work for improving the Crimson to be more inclusive and sustainable for future guards to thrive within. 

Past initiatives include: 

Workplace culture; socioeconomic diversity in our staff; our process for selecting new leadership; internal mentorship programs; organization traditions; internal and external policy transparency; and social life in our building.

Each of these task forces produced a report, a set of recommendations, or new initiatives that have been acted upon in order to improve upon the issues identified. Through them, we have revised our sensitive reporting policies, made our comps more accessible, clarified and publicized our financial aid program, and revamped our leadership selection process.

Our People & Community

Affinity Groups

The D&I Committee in 2021 oversaw the launch of five internal affinity groups: LGBTQ+, Black, FGLI, International, and Latinx. Relaunched in 2023 with additional groups (e.g., AAPI), each of these groups is open to staff members from every board across The Crimson. They are designed to be social spaces, away from the work that we do, for people to form community, get to know one another, as well as seek mentorship and personal advice. Each has a set of leaders who manage a social budget to organize events, and each may plan and oversee events, special editions of the paper, etc. centering their identities. These groups are selected based on indicated interest from Crimson staff members, and more can be created upon request. 

Bias Contacts & Sexual Harassment Counselors 

It is the goal of The Harvard Crimson to provide and maintain a working and learning environment where all staff members and employees are free from bias, harassment, or intimidation.

Because The Crimson takes allegations of bias or sexual harassment seriously, we will respond promptly to complaints. Staff may consult with one of the bias contacts or sexual harassment counselors appointed by The Crimson who will maintain the confidentiality of the consultation to the extent practicable under the circumstances. New bias contacts and sexual harassment counselors are appointed with the turnover of each Executive Board, with the president of the newspaper serving as both a contact and a counselor.

Diversity Report

Please find attached data summarized from The Crimson's 2023 staff census survey. Analysis will be added to this data summary shortly. For reference, a copy of The Crimson’s 2021 Staff Diversity Report can be found here.