ADDI Update – January 2021

Dear Friedman Community,

What a month it’s been. The sense of peace and renewal that many of us were able to achieve over the winter break was shattered by the Capitol riot on January 6th. Symbols of white supremacy were on full display, and so much of what happened that day is wrapped up in racism and hate. I appreciate all of you who came to the session that week to talk about your reactions, and many thanks to Adriana Black for co-facilitating. We are always available when you need to reflect and process these events. Hopefully, there are much better days ahead. 

Much of my ADDI efforts have continued to be working toward the integration of action items throughout the School. Updates:

Culture and Environment:

  • SJID has organized a series of discussions about equity, inclusion, and diversity beginning in late February – see “Events” below for more information
  • Physical environment: Orsolya Szabo has started to develop a plan to create an inclusive physical environment. A ChildObesity180 subcommittee is also working on these issues. Since we are still remote, they’ve been working on guidelines for creating an inclusive online environment, which they hope to share with the Friedman community soon. 

Faculty Success:

  • The Faculty Hiring Manual is now complete! It follows evidenced-based best practices for an inclusive search.  Many thanks to Patty Dawson Gregg for leading this effort. 

Coursework and Learning Environment:

  • On Giving Tuesday, funds for equity-focused internships were successfully raised. More information coming on how to apply. 

Compositional Diversity:

  • Dean Mozaffarian, Cindy Briggs Tobin, and I have been working on developing materials for a fundraising campaign. Scholarships and professorships to promote diversity are a priority area for fundraising. 
  • Master’s student Ricardo Moreno is developing a tutoring-based program that will connect Boston Public Schools high school students with Friedman, supporting students in becoming competitive college applicants and exposing them to careers in nutrition. 

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • I’ve drafted the ADDI 2020 Annual Report, which will be made available soon. 
  • Annie DeVane is working on overhaul of the SJID webpage/DEI on Friedman site generally. 

I hope everyone is having a good start to the new semester.

Sara C. Folta, PhD
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion 

EVENTS: February is Black History Month! There are many upcoming events – more announcements to come. 

Friedman SJID & Bridging Differences are sponsoring a series of discussions about equity, inclusion, and diversity beginning in late February. The purpose of the dialogues is to have a forum for discussions to understand and honor philosophical differences and to promote a culture of open discourse. Structured, facilitated dialogues represent a method for including and considering different voices.  The time commitment is for three 1.5 hour dialogues in February 2021, plus review of supplementary material (articles, videos, and/or podcasts) in advance of each. Two sets of dialogues will be held, one with students and one with faculty and staff. Please email Carine Tarazi ( with questions or to register. 

The 2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium will focus on the theme “Cashing Our Promissory Note: Race, Justice, and Reparation,” based on the powerful excerpt from the Rev. Dr. King’s speech at the March on Washington in 1963. This event is part of Africana Studies Distinguished Lecture Series at Tufts, and will take place on Wednesday, February 3, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET. 

Tufts Anthropology Speaker Series: Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice.Black Food Matters (2020) analyzes how Blackness is contested through food, differing ideas of what makes our sustenance “healthy,” and Black individuals’ own beliefs about what their cuisine should be. This comprehensive look at Black food culture and the various forms of violence that threaten the future of this cuisine centers Blackness in a field that has too often framed Black issues through a white-centric lens, offering new ways to think about access, privilege, equity, and justice. Join a moderated discussion with the authors Hanna Garth (Assistant Professor, Princeton University) and Ashanté Reese (Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin). Friday 5 February 12-1:30 PM EST.  Register for Zoom link

For students: Mindfulness for Individual and Community Resilience and Well-Being. The facilitators will discuss ways that mindfulness practices promote individual and community well-being. They will guide participants through practices that foster social-emotional resilience, stress reduction, focused attention, and self-care in ways that are in service of collective well-being, antiracism, and civic engagement. Tuesday, Feb. 9th 5-6:15 PM ET. Registration link

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems webinar: Building Relationships Across Higher Education Institutions to Address Racism in the Food System. This webinar will use a racial equity lens to provide an overview of the history and policy that developed land grant institutions and using that same lens, reimagine an asset-based pluralistic model of collaborative research and outreach across these institutions to advance food system sustainability and resiliency. February 11, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30 PM EST, Register

2021 Minority Health Conference:, virtual conference, 25-26 February

RESOURCES: The polarized political climate is clearly toxic, and I’ve heard many of you express frustration and despair about it. What do you do when close family members are on the “other side”? Can we really have such extremely different values and beliefs? It can be comforting to be in an echo chamber, but does that come at a cost? There are several organizations that are working to address political polarization. Tufts has worked closely with Essential Partners – check out their resources.  Another is Braver Angels, an organization that works to bridge the partisan divide by providing workshops, debates, and other events. Many are open to all and free.   

Past event information: “Voices of Chinatown” event took place in early December. It was a powerful event, and Chinatown community members provided concrete follow-up action items that Tufts can take.  There is an event recap, a recording of the event, and a Tufts Daily article about it. 

Reading of possible interest (thanks to Jen Hashley for sending along): for decades, university faculty and students have been both lauded and derided for being bastions of liberal thought. But why have they so often been politically impotent?

Grant opportunity: The Bridging Differences Task Force is pleased to announce the next round of funding for projects that will be implemented in the spring, summer, and fall of 2021.  Any Tufts student, faculty or staff member may apply for up to $2,000 in funding. Detailed information on the program and how to apply can be found on the Bridging Differences website. Applications must be submitted by February 12, 2021 for review by the Bridging Differences Grant Committee. If you have questions in anticipation of the funding deadline, please contact or visit our website for more information.

Research funding opportunities focused on structural racism, diversity, and equity (compiled by the Friedman Research Administration team):