Values and Actions: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As a leading neuroscience and brain research institute, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory’s excellence can only be as strong as the diversity of our community. We must work together to provide an inclusive and equitable culture invested in the well-being and advancement of every member.

We care about the mental and physical health of our students, faculty, and staff above all else. We will vigorously combat racism, discrimination, bias and harassment on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, religion, belief, age, sexual orientation, or disability.

DEIJ Staff
A square headshot of Farrah Belizaire

Farrah Belizaire is the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Program Officer for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

A 200 by 200 portrait of Mandana Sassanfar

Biology Senior Lecturer Mandana Sassanfar directs outreach in The Picower Institute and spearheads a number of programs primarily serving students from socially or economically disadvantaged groups.

Yet we acknowledge that we are not as diverse and inclusive as we strive to be. And we know that true anti-racism, equal opportunity and allyship with underrepresented members of our community requires action, not just words. So as we come together as an Institute to build our future, we are committing to doing the sustained work needed to broaden our outreach and recruitment, to make our climate more welcoming and inclusive, and to ensure we are a place where people from every background thrive professionally and personally.

This page will be a space for sharing what we’re doing and tracking our progress along the way – transparently and accountably.

Watch this space. We’ll be working on ourselves and our future.

Working together

We are not alone. We are joined in these values and actions with a broader community. To learn more about the values and actions we share with our affiliates across MIT please visit their pages:

Outreach Programs

Picower Institute students, staff and faculty work to encourage a diversity of young scientists to gain exposure to and experience with cutting-edge neuroscience research. These ongong efforts include outreach with local high schools and opportunities such as the MIT Summer Research Program for undergraduates and the Research Scholars Program for those who've earned a bachelor's degree.

 Learn More about Outreach Programs

The ALBA Declaration

On Jan 12. 2021, The Picower Institute joined more than 100 like-minded brain science organizations around the globe in endorsing The ALBA Declaration on Equity and Inclusion.

Full story on ALBA

Commitments with Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Together with fellow leaders of the MIT neuroscience community, Picower Director Li-Huei Tsai announced several new actions and commitments in June 2020 to recognize, understand, and address systemic racism in our own community and society at large.

Full story on BCS

Video: Li-Huei Tsai on diversity and inclusion in neuroscience

As part of a series of interviews by the Alba Network, Picower Institute Director Li-Huei Tsai discussed her research, her career path and her views on diversity and equality in her working environment and in brain research in general.