For the first time in months, coronavirus is not the headline story. Across the United States and globally thousands of people have joined protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, triggered by the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd.
Business schools have also reaffirmed their commitment to diversity and inclusion, with business school deans speaking out and students rallying in support, including the National Black MBA Association at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Set up to improve African American representation in business schools, the NBMBAA provides scholarships for black students.
A group of MBA students from Georgetown (including the co-presidents of the Black MBA Association) released a call to action for the community with steps people can take to make a difference.
These include: Educate yourself though listening, watching and reading; Donate to organizations ; Call your Representatives; Sign Petitions; Check in on your black friends, family, partners, loved ones, and colleagues and demonstrate how you will be supporting them and ask what else you can do.
To focus students’ attention on inclusivity, McDonough also offers an MBA course which allows students to test out their implicit biases, and work to overcome them.
Elsewhere, the University of Chicago Center for Identity and Inclusion invited Chicago Booth students to join a virtual vigil against anti-black violence and senior figures at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business sent out messages to their community.
Dean Bill Boulding said: ‘Words and actions matter. To live up to our responsibility as leaders in bringing people together with common purpose, we must remember our shared humanity and eradicate structural barriers/privileges that are frequently invisible to people who are granted privileges just because of the color of their skin. We need to be fair, just, and decent.
The time is now to act with the decency we so highly value in our community. Please let those who are hurting know that you see them, and that you are with them.’
To see a social media round-up of business school responses, click here.