Although it seems the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have reignited the #BlackLivesMatter movement, systemic brutality and injustice against Black people are deeply tied to all systems—not just the police. We recognize that just as this movement has returned in full force, we are dedicated and committed to the calls for racial, social, and economic justice today and every day hereafter. Recognizing the role of business in the systemic and racialized oppression of Black people, we have centuries of critical work to unpack and undo.
As a school of management, Isenberg has the unique power and privilege to enact change in two worlds: the business world and that of higher education. We see ourselves as being uniquely able to flip the system from one of brutality, violence, and deep-rooted injustice to one of liberation. Here we have outlined various initiatives and actions we will use to move us forward:
#StopHateForProfit We have immediately pulled our July advertising from Facebook in an effort to #stophateforprofit, and we are reinvesting those funds into Isenberg diversity and inclusion initiatives. This will also be part of a larger initiative of conscious collaborations we make as an institution.
Isenberg Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee This committee will convene immediately. As dean, I will charge this committee and it will be chaired by Alaina Macaulay, director of diversity and inclusion. This group will meet regularly to assess, evaluate, and advise about Isenberg’s diversity, inclusion, and culture. This committee will include representation from every Isenberg business unit to ensure no area is absent from these discussions and the change that will come from them.
Isenberg DEI Student Council This council will be composed of students interested in being part of Isenberg’s DEI programs and initiatives. The responsibilities of students in this council include attending monthly meetings with the director of diversity and inclusion and the assistant dean of undergraduate programs to plan, scope, and strategize around student-centered diversity and inclusion initiatives and projects. Students should share a commitment to being a social and organizational change agent for the development of a more inclusive Isenberg culture that supports ALL people, specifically those from underrepresented groups and identities.
Applications will be accepted until August 26th, for a committee start of September 1st. Student applications can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following:
Personal Essay (no longer than one page)
Full name, major, any student club/organizational involvement, along with your anticipated semester and year of graduation
Answer the following questions:
What can Isenberg do to create a more inclusive and diverse community?
How do you want to participate in this change?
Isenberg Community Trainings It is important for our Isenberg community to be just that—a community. This cannot be accomplished until all members feel safe, respected, and understood. In collaboration with many offices on campus as well as our business partners, Isenberg will be implementing trainings for all Isenberg leadership, faculty, and staff that will eventually be included in our standard onboarding, with frequent renewal requirements. Topics will vary to span all of our needs, but will include bias, racism, discrimination, privilege, and mental health.
Intro to Diversity & Inclusion in Business Course (SCH-MGMT 200DI) This new 3-credit upper-level Isenberg course will be offered in spring 2021. By taking this course, students will gain an understanding of the various dimensions of diversity, techniques for developing an inclusive culture, and how competency in these areas will influence the future of your work. This course will be taught by Dr. Nefertiti A. Walker, Dr. E. Nicole Melton, and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Alaina Macaulay.
This list should only be seen as preliminary steps. We recognize it will take far more undoing to truly see and understand all the ways Isenberg can and should change. This will require an ongoing commitment from everyone in our community, near and far. In Isenberg, we believe in challenging and changing systems of oppression, including systems we’ve grown accustomed to. We believe #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackTransLivesMatter, there should be #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor and countless others, and that hate should truly have no home in Isenberg, at UMass, or in the United States.