Community Conversations

Discover the amazing community around you!


Diversity Peer Educators gather in Grays Hall

A long-standing tradition at Harvard College, Community Conversations brings first-year students together with their Proctor for a discussion on identity, community, and belonging. It’s an opportunity to:

  1. Consider what’s important to you about your own identity, background, and community as you transition into the Harvard community.
  2. Examine your assumptions and learn about your peers’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives. 
  3. Begin to develop a sense of shared responsibility for upholding a compassionate and respectful community.

Assigned Readings

For more than a year, communities across the United States and the world have responded to multiple challenges that have long-term implications for how we live our lives together. Some of these challenges are new, as in the case of the global response to COVID-19. Others have been with us for generations, such as the ever-present specters of racism and xenophobia. All of them have proven urgent, and have required our collective attention, compassion, action, and ingenuity. 

As we slowly emerge from the worst days of the pandemic, all of us, along with our communities, have been changed. We have carefully selected six articles that offer different perspectives on the events of the past year. In these articles, you will see how the authors and others featured in the articles wrestle with what these moments have meant for them, for their communities, and for our shared life together across lines of difference. Each one contains deeply personal reflections that illustrate an evolving understanding of themselves and those around them.  

All of the readings are freely accessible online. Take some time between now and August 24 to read these selections.  

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Community Conversations is jointly supported by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, Diversity Education & Support, and the First-Year Experience Office.