The Belonging Project at Stanford
The importance of a sense of belonging has been demonstrated through empirical work on human resilience and factors that protect emotional health and personal wellbeing, even in the context of adversity and trauma. Individuals develop a sense of belonging when they feel connected to other people, especially those who share their distinct life experiences, interests, or goals. University activities that foster a sense of belonging promote mental and physical health and help individuals to flourish in all aspects of their lives.
Conversely, clear evidence has shown that individuals in distress who feel that they are disconnected and are not part of a larger community (“thwarted belongingness”) are especially vulnerable to poor outcomes, including impulsive or self-harmful behavior. For all of these reasons, we have launched the “The Belonging Project at Stanford” - a broadly-engaged, multidimensional effort to promote emotional health and personal wellbeing through connection with the communities of our campus and beyond.
The goals of the Belonging Project at Stanford are four-fold:
Advancing conceptual and empirical work on belonging, including the effects of positive belonging and related issues, such as negative belonging, paradoxical fragility of belonging, and threats to belonging.
Serving as a repository for practical tools, evidence-driven strategies, and multidisciplinary scholarship on belonging as a resource for diverse stakeholders.
Convening conversations related to belonging among stakeholders with a particular focus on cultures of belonging among undergraduates at Stanford.
Celebrating and reinforcing those aspects of Stanford life that support a culture that is inclusive and supportive of positive belonging.
Director: Laura Roberts, M.D., M.A.
Chairman and Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine