Mission, Values, and Commitments to Justice

We recognize that Tufts University’s Medford campus occupies Massa-adchu-es-et (Massachusett) traditional indigenous territory. Tufts’ Walnut Hill, where the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Department (UEP) sits, was once part of a slave-holding estate called Ten Hills Plantation. Not only are we connected to these historical harms and their ongoing traumas, but the policy and planning fields have played a fundamental role in the creation of discriminatory, unjust, and inequitable outcomes for people and places, such as segregation, concentrated poverty, and environmental burdens.

We aim to educate and nurture a new generation of leaders – "Practical Visionaries" – who both acknowledge this past and work to address these injustices that continue to this day. We are committed to advancing social, racial, economic, and environmental justice for all, at the local, national, and global scale. We will also work within Tufts to support the university’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution. We believe that policy and planning should actively lead to more inclusive, just, participatory, tolerant, and sustainable communities, regions, and ecosystems. This mission requires listening, learning, and helping to raise the voices of peoples who are marginalized because of their identities and historical legacies of exclusion and oppression. It requires creating a culture of curiosity and belonging amongst faculty, staff, students, and partners.

Practical Visionary Values

We believe that Practical Visionaries should:

  • Act ethically, with social responsibility, honesty, integrity, cultural competence, and humility.
  • Practice empathy and humane approaches in the policy and planning fields.
  • Work towards development of sustainable and just communities; meaningful democratic and empowered community engagement; collaboration across government, nonprofit, and private sectors; and constructive, respectful, and compassionate dialogue across differences.

Our Commitments to Action

We are committed to:

  • Turning our vision for intersectional justice into practice through what and how we teach, learn, recruit, research, and partner with communities.
  • Helping students integrate interdisciplinary knowledge and practical skills to prepare them to be effective practitioners in policy and planning in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
  • Enhancing diversity, representation, and retention of underrepresented and marginalized individuals in our student body, faculty, staff, and leadership, so that we are better able to reflect and serve our communities.
  • Regularly evaluating and communicating our progress in meeting our goals and seeking ways to continuously improve.