Harvard pays students to host 'brave spaces' for social justice

Toni Airaksinen

  • Harvard University is paying students $11/hour to facilitate “brave spaces” on “social justice, diversity, and inclusion issues” at the elite institution.
  • When a new satellite diversity office opens in a freshman residence hall, the "Diversity Peer Educators" will be expected to work at least two night-shifts per month to promote social justice among residents.
  • Harvard University is paying students to facilitate “brave spaces” on “social justice, diversity, and inclusion issues” at the elite institution.

    According to a job posting on the school’s website, the university is looking to hire 20 “Diversity Peer Educators” (DPEs), who will be paid $11 per hour to commit to a year-long program for hosting “peer-to-peer dialogues that address a wide range of social justice, diversity, and inclusion issues and topics.”

    "Do you wish that Harvard had more programs to promote inclusion and belonging?"   

    Created by the Harvard Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI), the program vows to benefit the university by “fostering brave spaces across campus” where students can “advocate” and “amplify the voices that need to be heard.”

    [RELATED: University paying students to be ‘Social Justice Advocates’]

    “We believe that every student should have a stake in creating a community to which they have a right to belong,” the website for the program notes.

    Successful applicants will attend weekly trainings and staff meetings, and must commit to at least four-to-six hours of work per week in the DPE office alongside their supervisors, who will be Harvard administrators.

    While no experience with social justice work is required, applicants must be able to “articulate social justice, diversity, and inclusion issues” while keeping “abreast of current events on campus and the general campus climate.”

    Upon completion of their training, students will be dispatched to facilitate events and discussions on various social justice issues.

    For example, when OEDI opens its satellite office in Grays, a freshman dorm, peer educators will be required to work at least two “night shifts” per month to promote social justice to their freshmen peers.

    [RELATED: University offers students funding for social justice projects]

    While it is unclear when Harvard began paying DPEs, the program has existed since at least the fall of 2016. In previous years, peer educators have hosted events on issues such as “Understanding Safe Spaces,” “Homophobia and Heteronormativity,” and “Oppression in the Classroom.”

    Similarly, after Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, students in the program hosted an event to help students cope with the election results, according to The Harvard Crimson.

    Campus Reform reached out to Harvard University for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen is a New Jersey-based Campus Reform contributor, and previously served as a Senior Campus Correspondent. Her reporting focuses on campus First Amendment, Title IX, Equal Opportunity, and due process issues, and her stories have been profiled by numerous outlets including Fox News, The New York Post, PBS News, and The Washington Examiner.
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