Diversity, Equity, and Belonging

News: SA+P welcomes new assistant dean for diversity, equity, belonging and student support

Monica Orta has joined SA+P as its new assistant dean for diversity, equity, belonging and student support. Orta, who has served as the director of diversity and student support at the MIT Media Lab since 2014, took on this new role in June 2021. At the Media Lab, Orta gathered quantitative and qualitative data to produce a bold strategic plan that required new admissions processes, increased faculty participation, and community programming. Orta earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Boston University and a master's degree in education from Northeastern University. Before joining the Media Lab, Orta worked on diversity initiatives in MIT's Office of Graduate Education.

The Institute's five schools and the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing have dedicated professional staff to advance initiatives locally and across the Institute. Learn more about the Institute's ongoing efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive community here.

The fields of architecture, city planning, media, design, real estate, and art are first and foremost dedicated to improving the human condition and quality of life for all people. This credo applies in all the varied communities in which we are engaged, including our own here at MIT. We value each member of our community—students, faculty, postdocs, staff, and visitors—as human beings, with all our wonderful differences. These differences in culture, life experience, and opinion, fuel creative ideas and actions, which are the core of our School’s educational mission.  

Recent statements on diversity by Dean Hashim Sarkis

New SA+P Faculty Diversity Committee (October 1, 2020)
A Disquieted World (September 2, 2020)
Making SA+P More Equitable and Inclusive (July 9, 2020)
School Student Council (June 22, 2020)
SA+P Supports #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM (June 9, 2020)
Today’s Vigil (June 2, 2020)


Faculty Diversity Committee (AY 2020-2021)
Phillip Clay, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Martha Collins, Assistant Dean for Human Resources
Joseph Jacobson, Program in Media Arts and Sciences
Janelle Knox-Hayes (co-chair), Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Monica Orta, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Student Support
Kairos Shen, Center for Real Estate
Larry Sass (co-chair) Architecture
Terry W. Knight (ex officio), Architecture
Ceasar L. McDowell (ex officio), Department of Urban Studies and Planning

For more information on MIT's programs and and initiatives on diversity, equity, and inclusion, see diversity.mit.edu.

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